Assessing the Prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Its Risk Factors among Adult Internally Displaced Persons in Sudan

Sayed Halaly *

Unit of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan / Taha Baasher Psychiatry Teaching Hospital, Khartoum, Sudan.

Anas Ibn Auf

Department of Psychiatry, Eastern Sudan College for Medical Sciences and Technology, Port Sudan, Sudan and Erada Mental Health Complex, Taif, Saudi Arabia.

Mohammad Almontaser Ahmed Mohammed

Department of Medicine, Abo Hamad General Hospital, Abo Hamad, Nahr Neel State, Sudan.

Adam Alnour Mouhammed

AL Mada’in College for Science and Technology, Omdurman, Sudan.

Rawia Alsayed Albasheer

Faculty of Medicine, University of Science and Technology, Omdurman, Sudan.

Wafaa Alsadig Abd Alrahman

Faculty of Medicine, Nile Valley University, Atbara, Nahr Neel State, Sudan.

Abdelgadir Hussein Osman

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: Since the middle of April 2023, Sudan has experienced a large armed conflict, which resulted in millions of its people leaving their homes, being internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside the country and externally displaced to neighboring countries. A lot of them were exposed to different kinds of trauma, violence, and injuries, making them more vulnerable to psychological disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of PTSD and determine the associated risk factors among IDPs in Abo Hamad Town, Nahr Neel State, Sudan in December 2023. To our knowledge, few studies explored PTSD among IDPs in Sudan.

Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional community-based household study in Abo Hamad Town, Nahr Neel State, Sudan. A total of 118 adult IDPs were interviewed. A pre-tested and structured questionnaire assessed the participants' socio-demographic, clinical, and psychosocial characteristics and substance and displacement–related factors. The Short Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Rating Interview (SPRINT) scale was used to examine PTSD among them. Data were collected during two weeks by a well-trained team supervised by a consultant psychiatrist. Data were analysed using the SPSS version 22. Descriptive results were displayed using frequency tables. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the association between the outcome and independent variables. A p-value equal or less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant at 95% CI.

Results: The study comprised 118 participants, 72.9% female and 27.1% male. The mean age was 29.94 years (SD+11.84). Most were educated; 57.6% were university graduates, and 22% had secondary education. Married individuals accounted for 46.6% of the sample, while 45.0% were single. More than half (53.4%) of the participants were unemployed. Over two-thirds (67.8%) had been displaced for over four months. A lack of social support was reported by half (50.9%) of the participants. While 16.9% had a chronic medical condition, 5.1% were identified as having a mental illness. The prevalence of PTSD among Internally displaced persons was found to be 70.3%, and a quarter (27.1%) had severe symptoms. The most frequent event was the participant located in an area prone to shooting, which was reported by 90.7% of respondents, followed by property destruction, difficulty lodging, forced detachment from family, and abnormal death of a family member or friend, reported by 53.4%, 50.8%, 37.3%, and 34.7% respectively. Experiencing multiple events was common, and more than half (52.5%) of the participants experienced four or more traumatic events. Related factors with significant association with PTSD were female gender, torture, witnessing the murder of a stranger, and multiple traumatic events experienced by the respondent.

Conclusion: This study showed an alarming high prevalence of PTSD among IDPs in an urban setting. Factors found to be significantly associated with PTSD were being female, experiencing torture, witnessing the murder of a stranger and exposure to multiple traumatic events. Further studies are required to investigate PTSD in IDPs, and psychological support services are of paramount importance to manage PTSD and reduce the suffering of IDPs.

Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder, prevalence of PTSD, risk factors, adult internally displaced persons, Abo Hamad, Sudan

How to Cite

Halaly, Sayed, Anas Ibn Auf, Mohammad Almontaser Ahmed Mohammed, Adam Alnour Mouhammed, Rawia Alsayed Albasheer, Wafaa Alsadig Abd Alrahman, and Abdelgadir Hussein Osman. 2024. “Assessing the Prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Its Risk Factors Among Adult Internally Displaced Persons in Sudan”. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research 36 (7):337-47.


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