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dc.rights.licenseCreative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)
dc.contributor.authorStrohmeier, Hannahen
dc.contributor.authorScholte, Willem F.en
dc.contributor.authorAger, Alastairen
dc.date.accessioned2018-10-10T15:37:15Z
dc.date.available2018-10-10T15:37:15Z
dc.date.issued2018-10-31
dc.identifier.citationStrohmeier, H., Scholte, W. F. & Ager, A. (2018) Factors associated with common mental health problems of humanitarian workers in South Sudan. PLoS ONE, 13 (10), [e0205333].en
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203en
dc.identifier.urihttps://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/handle/20.500.12289/9146
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205333
dc.description.abstractBackground - The latest data on major attacks against civilian aid operations have identified South Sudan as the most dangerous country for aid workers globally. Exposure to other traumatic events and chronic stress is also common in this population. No research exists on the mental health of humanitarian workers in South Sudan. Objectives - This study examined symptom burden and predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, hazardous alcohol consumption, and burnout among humanitarian workers in South Sudan. Method - We conducted a cross-sectional online survey with humanitarian workers (national and international staff, consultants, United Nations volunteers). We applied validated measures useful for this setting. We applied Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) regression to fit models with high prediction accuracy for each outcome and used ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to obtain final coefficients and perform inference. Results - A total of 277 humanitarian workers employed by 45 organizations completed the survey (a response rate in the order of 10%). We estimated prevalence of PTSD (24%), depression (39%), anxiety disorder (38%), hazardous alcohol consumption in men (35%) and women (36%), and the burnout components emotional exhaustion (24%) and depersonalization (19%). Chronic stress exposure was positively associated with PTSD (p < .001), depression (p < .001), anxiety (p < .001), emotional exhaustion (p < .01), and depersonalization (p < .001). We found no significant association between emotion focused and problem focused coping and mental health outcomes. Associations between dysfunctional coping and depression (p < .001) and anxiety (p < .01) were positive. Higher levels of spirituality were associated with lower risk of hazardous alcohol consumption (p < .001). Contrary to expectations, working directly with humanitarian aid beneficiaries was significantly associated with lower risk for emotional exhaustion (p < .01). Conclusion - Our results suggest that humanitarian workers in South Sudan experience substantial levels of mental ill-health. This study points to the need for staff support strategies that effectively mitigate humanitarian workers’ chronic stress exposure. The dynamics between coping and mental health among humanitarian workers require further study.en
dc.description.sponsorshipFunding: This work was supported by the German-American Fulbright Commission (https://www.fulbright.de/). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherPLoSen
dc.relation.ispartofPLoS ONEen
dc.rights© 2018 Strohmeier et al.
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.titleFactors associated with common mental health problems of humanitarian workers in South Sudanen
dc.typeArticleen
dcterms.accessRightspublic
dcterms.dateAccepted2018-09-24
dc.date.updated2018-12-19
dc.description.volume13en
dc.description.ispublishedpub
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen
rioxxterms.publicationdate2018-10-31
refterms.dateFCA2018-10-31
refterms.dateFCD2018-10-10
refterms.depositExceptionNAen
refterms.depositExceptionpublishedGoldOA
refterms.accessExceptionNAen
refterms.technicalExceptionNAen
refterms.panelUnspecifieden
qmu.authorStrohmeier, Hannahen
qmu.authorAger, Alastairen
qmu.centreInstitute for Global Health and Developmenten
dc.description.statuspub
dc.description.number10 [e0205333]en
refterms.versionAMen
refterms.dateDeposit2018-10-10


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Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)