Post-traumatic stress disorder in internally displaced people of Colombia: An ecological study

Author(s): Mariana LAGOS-GALLEGO ; Julio CESAR GUTIERREZ-SEGURA ; Guillermo J. LAGOS-GRISALES ; Alfonso J. RODRIGUEZ-MORALES

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2017.02.008

Abstract

Background

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been described as one of the most frequently reported mental condition among refugees and internally displaced populations (IDPs). Despite this, few has been reported about it in Latin America, even in Colombia, the country with the highest number of IDPs in the in the world.

Method

This ecological study assessed incidence and differences of PTSD in general population and IDPs in Colombia and its departments (32) during 2009–2012. Epidemiological data was collected from the National Health Records System (RIPS), retrieving the ICD-10 code F43.1 in both populations. We estimated PTSD incidence rates on both populations (cases/100,000 pop), using reference population of the IDPs (SISDHES and the general population was taken from the (DANE). Incidence rates ratios were calculated comparing both populations.

Results

In general population, 6619 cases of PTSD occurred (14.5 cases/100,000 pop, 95%CI 14.0–15.0) while 177 among IDPs (73.8 cases/100,000 pop, 95%CI 63.0–85.0). PTSD was 5.1 times higher among IDPs than in general population. Ranging from 1.6 (Tolima) to 15.8 (Quindío) (median: 4.4). In departments with higher incidence, also it was in IDPs (r2 = 0.4899; p < 0.01).

Conclusion

This study evidenced a significantly higher PTSD incidence among IDPs, when compared with general population in the same territories. This has relevant implications for screening, diagnosis and management of PTSD among IDPs, especially in high incidence areas. More studies are required to improve the understanding of this condition among vulnerable populations, as well to provide better medical and psychological interventions and for the development of public policies in countries, such as Colombia, with IDPs.

Keywords

Post-traumatic stress disorder; Internally displaced people; Epidemiology; Psychiatry; Colombia

Tags: Colombia, Latin America, Internal displacement, PTSD, Epidemiology

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