Date of Award
Master of Public Health (MPH)
School of Public Health
Background: In displaced populations, studies have shown that there are significant associations between exposure to violence and reporting mental illness. There is little known regarding this relationship in countries like Malaysia, which serves as a transitional point where refugees wait to be resettled.
Objective: To assess the cross-sectional association of exposure to violence with mental health status in the urban refugee and asylum-seeking population in Malaysia.
Methods: 286 self-identified refugees and asylum seekers, recruited by using time-location sampling, were given interviewer-administered surveys, including questions regarding exposure to violence and mental health symptoms. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate associations between exposure to physical violence, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while adjusting for potential confounders.
Results: In multivariable analyses that adjusted for sex and country of origin, physical violence was found to be associated with an increased odds of anxiety (OR, 5.67, 95% CI:, 1.99-16.14); depression (OR, 5.31, 95% CI: 1.42-19.85); and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (OR, 4.83, 95% CI: 1.24-18.83). Intimate partner violence was found to be associated with an increased odds of PTSD (OR, 4.55, 95% CI: 1.69-12.25).
Conclusions: There are significant associations between exposure to any physical violence and anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and exposure to any intimate partner violence and PTSD, offering insight to the relationship between violence exposure and mental health status within the urban refugee and asylum-seeking population in Malaysia.
Kim, Rayne Soyoung, "The Association Between Self-Reported History Of Experiencing Violence & Mental Health Status Among Urban Refugees And Asylum Seekers In Malaysia" (2019). Public Health Theses. 1878.