Vol 7, No 1 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-03-18

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Humanitarian disaster: mental health disorders at primary healthcare clinic

Siti Salmiah Awang1, Shaza Eva Mohamad1, S. Maria Awaluddin2
Disaster Emerg Med J 2022;7(1):1-10.


INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the mental health of Rohingya refugees attending the Malaysian Field Hospital primary health clinic after arriving in Bangladesh. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of mental health disorders, somatic symptoms and to ascertain the determinants of mental health disorders among the Rohingya refugee community attending the primary health clinic.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional, face-to-face interview using the DASS-21 Questionnaire was conducted among 180 random samples of patients from the Rohingya community. Symptoms of illnesses were recorded before giving the appropriate treatment. Data was collected to obtain the prevalence of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms, and to study the association and predictors of mental health disorders.
RESULTS: 70.6% of respondents reported having mental health disorders. 70% presented with anxiety and 51.6% had depression. Among the respondents with mental health disorders, 70.8% presented with somatic symptoms. Mental health disorders were associated with female gender, older age, formal education, unemployment, high number of households, being in Bangladesh one year or less, and presence of somatic symptoms. Being in Bangladesh one year or less (AOR, 11.73; 95% CI 3.38–40.71) and presence of somatic symptoms (AOR, 12.1; 95% CI: 4.02 to 36.44) were significant predictors of mental health disorders.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of mental health disorders among Rohingya refugees attending the primary health care clinic was high, and they presented with somatic symptoms.

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