1887
Volume 2015, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • E-ISSN: 2227-0426

Abstract

Iraq is consistently exposed to large-scale traumatic events such as successive wars since 1980 to the present day, economic sanctions, sustained organized violence, and terrorism. These unsafe circumstances have negatively impacted the psychosocial status of the Iraqi community. To study the prevalence of witnessing or exposure to various types of violence, and its association with mental health problems in a sample of Iraqi men. This is a cross-sectional study that was conducted from April to September 2014. The target population were men from different age groups that were collected through a convenience sampling technique from two large cities; Baghdad (the capital city) and Mosul (the second largest city in Iraq). The source of data was from different institutions, colleges and lay people. The data collection process was done using the Self-Reporting Questionnaire 20 which is recommended by the World Health Organization for screening psychiatric disturbances. A total of 480 Iraqi males agreed to participate in the study. The main type of violence reported was witnessing violence (55.4%), followed by exposure of friends or relatives to violence (51.4%), and witnessing or exposure to sexual assault was least reported (3.8%). The most frequent feeling recorded was of worry (72.9%), getting easily upset (65.4%), suffering from headaches (62.7%) and lethargy (59.4%). Severe psychological changes were evident in 68.5% of men, while moderate changes were present in 31.5%. Analysis of the feelings and behavioral changes in relation to the participants' history of exposure to violence revealed a significant association with witnessing shooting or stabbings, displacement, friends or relatives' exposure to violence, and viewing corpses. There is a high prevalence among Iraqi men of exposure to, or witnessing violence that showed an association with their mental condition, which, if proved causally, may be a leading cause for future devastating effects on their health, wellbeing and quality of life.

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2015-07-09
2019-12-14
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Community violence , Iraq , men and mental health
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