A systematic review of mental health of women in fragile and humanitarian settings of the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Fauziah Rabbani, Aysha Zahidie, Amna Siddiqui, Sanam Shah, Zul Merali, Khalid Saeed, Mohamed Afifi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The increasing emergencies and humanitarian challenges have worsened the mental health condition of women in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Aim: To assess the prevalence, determinants and interventions to address mental health among women in fragile and humanitarian settings in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Methods: Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis guidelines, we reviewed 59 peer-reviewed published studies (PubMed, IMEMR) and grey literature (WHO/IRIS) from January 2001 to February 2023, focusing on women’s mental health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. We then conducted a descriptive analysis of the sociodemographic characteristics. Results: Among the 59 studies reviewed, only 13 of the 48 peer-reviewed studies focused primarily on women’s mental health, 11 grey literature records mostly presented grouped regional data, 11 of the 25 studies on mental health among migrants were about those taking refuge in high-income countries. The average prevalence of mental disorders from 32 cross-sectional studies on women aged 12–75 years was 49%, average prevalence of anxiety was 68%, post-traumatic stress disorder was 52%, and depression was 43%. Women exhibited higher level depression than men. Age, educational disparities, and limited access to services were important risk factors for mental health disorder. Several promising interventions emerged. Conclusion: More efforts should be made to provide customized, context-specific solutions to the mental health challenges of women in humanitarian and fragile settings in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, including allocation of more resources to mental health programmes, addressing barriers, enhancing mental health surveillance, and reduction of stigma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-379
Number of pages11
JournalEastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Keywords

  • conflict
  • depression
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • emergency
  • Humanitarian
  • mental disorder
  • mental health
  • post-traumatic stress
  • women

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of mental health of women in fragile and humanitarian settings of the Eastern Mediterranean Region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this