Poor mental health in Ghana: who is at risk?

We aimed to examine associations between empowerment and poor mental health among women

Heather Sipsma

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • Poor mental health is a leading cause of disability worldwide with considerable negative impacts, in low-income countries
  • One-third of participants lived in an urban area, and most participants reported being “very healthy.” The sample was distributed throughout the 10 regions of Ghana in proportion to their regional populations
  • One in four women believed a wife should tolerate being beaten in order to keep the family together
  • The prevalence of psychological distress was higher among women than men; 21.2% of women reported moderate or severe psychological distress compared with 15.5% of men reported either moderate or severe psychological distress
  • Factors associated with psychological distress among women in relationships Among women who were in relationships in the last year, bivariate analyses indicated that low women’s empowerment, higher partner control, and experiences of abuse were all significantly associated with reporting psychological distress
  • Women who believed that a wife does not have a right to express her opinion had greater odds of moderate psychological distress, and women who agreed that wife should tolerate being beaten to keep the family together had greater odds of moderate and severe psychological distress
  • Our findings indicate that the prevalence of reported psychological distress is substantial among both men and women in Ghana, but is higher among women
  • Results identify populations to be targeted by interventions aiming to improve mental health

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