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Best Article of current issue
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THE PREVALENCE OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOLS PUPILS IN BAGHDAD/AL-KARKH
Dr. Ibtihal Shukri Abd Al-Haleem* (FICMS \ FM, MBChB), Assistant Professor Dr. Waleed AT Al-Ani** (PhD, MSc, MBChB), Professor Dr. Muhammed Waheeb al Obaidy***(FCCP.FRCPE)
Background: The critical current situation in Baghdad and the huge amount of violence affect the whole population causing different degree of distress, anxiety, fear, and depression. The psychological trauma may precipitate post-traumatic stress disorder. In children post-traumatic stress disorder is a common response to community violence with higher rates in youngster’s exposed to life threatening events. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in primary schools and study different associated factors (demographical, cultural, and social). Subjects and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study using random sample (multi-stage sampling) on 25 primary schools (boys and girls) from Al-Karkh sector/ Baghdad for the period of six months of teaching period 2010-2011 involving 2707 pupils from both sexes. A well-structured questionnaire including socio-demographic and post-traumatic stress disorder related factors were filled by the researcher through direct interview with ensured confidentiality. Results: The results obtained from primary schools showed a 29.8% prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among such vulnerable group (29.6% in boys and 30.1% in girls), this rate is high enough to cause concern to take preventive and therapeutic measures to deal with it. The prevalence of criteria of post-traumatic stress disorder was 29.8% for reaction to fear or terror or disability and painfully recalls the event, 38.7% for avoidance symptoms, 30.1% for hyper arousal symptoms and 98.1% for study or social activity affected, obvious grief, or stress. Conclusion: A higher proportion of primary school children were affected with post-traumatic stress disorder with main factors associated adversely were female sex, increase failure rate, low family economic status, and if the parents were alive or not. The present study points the importance to be aware of early symptoms, an urgent need for targeted interventions, and the value of special follow-up.[Full Text Article]