Article

Psychiatric disorders among war-abducted and non-abducted adolescents in Gulu district, Uganda: a comparative study

Gulu University, Uganda.
African Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 0.73). 12/2007; 10(4):225-31. DOI: 10.4314/ajpsy.v10i4.30260
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objective:We aimed to assess the nature and patterns of psychiatric disorders among adolescents who had been war-abducted in the war in northern Uganda, compared to non-abducted adolescents living in Gulu district, Uganda.Method: A cros sectional study that used an unmatched case-control design compared 82 abducted and 71 non-abducted adolescents for scores on measures of psychological distress and for selected psychiatric diagnoses using the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Mini International Neural-Psychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents English version 2.0 (M.I.N.I-KID). Results: More than 90% of adolescents reported exposure to severe trauma, either through direct or indirect experiences. Significantly more war abducted adolescents reported PTSD (26.8%v.12.7%) (p=0.03) major depression (19.5%v.4.2%) (p=0.004), and generalised anxiety disorder (13.4v.4.2%) (p=0.049) than non abducted adolescents. By contrast, non-abducted adolescents reported more past suicidality (p=0.004, chi(2)=8.2) than adolescents who were abducted. However, despite high rates of psychiatric disorder, these adolescents had good psychosocial adjustment. Conclusion: Adolescents in war affected areas whether warabducted or not have varied and clinically significant emotional responses to different kinds of traumatic exposure. In a war-affected area, the development of a sustainable service for adolescents that tries to address the full range of mental health problems may be more appropriate than a psychological trauma service that focuses on one diagnosis.

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Available from: Seggane Musisi, Aug 03, 2015
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    • "IDPs were indicated to have a prevalence of PTSD of 74% in 2005 (Vink et al., 2007), 54% in 2006 (Roberts et al., 2008), and former abductees had a prevalence of 49% in 2005 (Pfeiffer & Elbert, 2011). The lower levels of symptom reportage in our sample of humanitarian workers may variously be accounted for by differential exposure, the relative peace that has held in northern Uganda since 2007 (with lower incidence of trauma and violence), and the diminution of symptoms over time (Green et al., 1990; Okello, Onen, & Muisus, 2007). "
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    Journal of Traumatic Stress 12/2012; 25(6):713-20. DOI:10.1002/jts.21764 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    • "Five of the studies incorporated a comparison group of children not associated with an armed group (Betancourt, Borisova, de la Soudière, & Williamson, 2011; Blattman & Annan, 2010; Kohrt et al., 2008; MacMullin & Loughry, 2004; Okello, Onen, & Musisi , 2007). Okello et al. (2007) identified a comparison group from a local mixed boarding and day college, whereas Betancourt and colleagues (2010) included a random door-to-door sample of war-affected youth from the same villages of resettlement as a cohort of former child soldiers. Only two studies used a matching procedure for establishing a comparison group (Blattman & Annan, 2010; Kohrt et al., 2008). "
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    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 10/2012; 54(1). DOI:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02620.x · 5.67 Impact Factor
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    • "Symptoms endorsed during the assessment suggested scores in the diagnostic range for PTSD in one third of the children. This finding is in line with the rate reported by Okello et al.(2007) "
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