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The mental health impact of multiple deprivations under protracted conflict: a multilevel study in the occupied Palestinian territory

Hammoudeh, Weeam, Mitwalli, Suzan, Kafri, Rawan, Kuo Lin, Tracy, Giacaman, Rita and Leone, Tiziana ORCID: 0000-0001-9671-5382 (2022) The mental health impact of multiple deprivations under protracted conflict: a multilevel study in the occupied Palestinian territory. PLOS Global Public Health. ISSN 2767-3375

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Building on the literatures examining the impacts of deprivation and war and conflict on mental health, this study investigates the impact of different forms of deprivation on mental health within a context of prolonged conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory(oPt). The study uses data from the Socio-Economic & Food Security Survey 2014 conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, with an analytical sample of 7827 households in the West Bank(WB) and Gaza Strip(GS). The analysis is conducted for the combined sample, and for the WB and GS separately. The General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ12) score is our main outcome measure of poor mental health. The main predictor variables are various measures of deprivation (including subjective deprivation, material deprivation, food deprivation, and political deprivation), acute political, health, and economic shocks, and background socio-demographic characteristics. The results indicate significant variance at the locality level. We find significant positive associations between poor mental health and subjective, economic, political, and food deprivation; health, economic, and political stressors; age, and being a woman. Individuals who indicated that they felt somewhat or very deprived have significantly higher GHQ scores than individuals who indicated that they did not feel deprived (β=1·69 and 4·23 for those who felt deprived and who did not feel deprived, respectively, p<0·0001). Food consumption was inversely associated with GHQ score (β=−0·01, p<0·0001) and food insecurity was positively associated with GHQ score (β=0·19, p<0·0001). Health-related, political, and economic stressors were significantly positively associated with GHQ scores (β=1.36, 0·52, 0·23, and 0·19 respectively, p<0·0001). Age (β=0·089, p<0·0001) and being a woman were positively associated with GHQ score (β=0·25, p=<0.001), whereas education beyond secondary school level was inversely associated with GHQ score (β=−0·58, p<0·0001). The community effect suggests that spatial characteristics are influencing mental health, and warrant further investigation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s).
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
J Political Science
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 13:27
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2022 13:51

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