Depression and Anxiety Among War-widows of Nepal: a Post-civil War Cross-sectional Study

TitleDepression and Anxiety Among War-widows of Nepal: a Post-civil War Cross-sectional Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBasnet, Syaron
JournalPsychology, Health, and Medicine
Start Page141
Date Published06/2017

Thousands of Nepalese women were widowed as a consequence of a decade (1996-2006) long civil war in Nepal. These women are at grave risk of mental health problems due to both traumatic experiences and violation of natural order of widowhood. The present study explores the depression and anxiety among war-widows. In 2012, a cross-sectional study was designed to interview 358 war-widows using validitated Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory in four districts of Nepal - Bardiya, Surkhet, Sindhupalchowk and Kavrepalanchowk with history of high conflict intensity. The prevalence of depression and anxiety was 53% and 63% respectively. Financial stress was significantly associated with depression (2.67, 95% CI: 1.40-5.07) and anxiety (2.37, 95% CI: 1.19-4.72). High autonomy of women as compared to low autonomy, high social support as compared to low social support and literacy as opposed to illiteracy was associated with less likelihood of depression and anxiety. Our results suggest high magnitude of depression and anxiety among war-widows in Nepal. Future policy efforts should be directed at providing mental health services to identify mental health issues among conflict affected individuals with focus on education, employment and activities to promote social support and autonomy at community.

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