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Title: Physical and mental health status of women in disaster-affected areas in Bangladesh
Contributor(s): Riyad Fatema, Syadani  (author); Rice, Kylie  (author)orcid ; Rock, Adam  (author)orcid ; Islam, Md Shahidul  (author)orcid ; East, Leah  (author)orcid ; Usher, Kim  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2023-07
Early Online Version: 2023-04-15
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1007/s11069-023-05964-5Open Access Link
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Despite the increased risk of disasters in the Bangladesh, there is a dearth of research about women’s physical and mental health vulnerability following disasters. This study aimed to explore the physical and mental health status and associated risk factors of women in recurrent disaster-affected areas of Bangladesh. Participants (N=408) were recruited using systematic random sampling from two purposively selected disaster-prone areas (Upazilas of Sagata and Sarankhola), using a structured questionnaire conducted in person. Physical and mental health status was assessed using the health Short Form 12 (SF-12) measure that is comprised of both physical health (PCS-12) and mental health (MCS-12) subscales. Of the 408 participants, the mean scores on PCS-12 and MCS-12 subscales were 43.85±28.04 and 37.70±27.29, respectively, which were strongly correlated, r=.71, p<.001. Overall, 65.9% and 63.0% of total participants scored below the validated cut-off of PCS-12 and MCS-12 subscales which indicates both poor physical and mental health. The results indicated that physical and mental health were significantly poorer for the participants who witnessed casualties, lost family members or relatives, were relocated to shelters and sacrificed food during disasters. Moreover, poorer mental health scores were identified among participants who were physically injured and/or consulted a medical practitioner during or after the disaster. Accurate health knowledge is crucial for adequate and effective disaster preparation to decrease the health impacts on women in disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh. Research in this area is needed, and strategies to improve the public health status of women are warranted.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Natural Hazards, 117(3), p. 2715-2733
Publisher: Springer Cham
Place of Publication: Switzerland
ISSN: 1573-0840
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420602 Health equity
440504 Gender relations
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200503 Health related to specific ethnic groups
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health
School of Psychology

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