Burden of post-traumatic stress disorder in postgenocide Rwandan population following exposure to 1994 genocide against the Tutsi: A meta-analysis

Jun 01, 2020; Science Direct . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.06.017


Background The 1994 genocide against Tutsi resulted in a massive death toll that reached one million people. Despite the tremendous efforts made to mitigate the adverse effects of the genocide, a substantial burden of mental health disorders still exists including the notably high prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among genocide survivors. However, a synthesized model of PTSD vulnerability in this population is currently lacking. Methods A meta-analysis of 19 original research studies that reported PTSD prevalence (n= 12,610). Medline-PubMed and Science.gov were key search engines. Random-Effects Model (k = 19; tau^2 estimator: DL) was applied. Data extraction, synthesis, and meta-analysis were carried out using R. Results The total of 2957 out of 11746 individuals suffered from PTSD. The summary proportion is 25 % (95% CI=0.16,0.36). The tau^2 is 0.06 (95% CI=0.03,0.14) in the absence of subgroups, and the Q-statistic is 2827.65 (p<0.0001), all of which suggests high heterogeneity in the effect sizes. Year of data collection and Year of publication were significant moderators. PTSD pooled prevalence in the genocide survivor category was estimated at 37% (95% CI=0.21,0.56). Conclusion The PTSD prevalence among genocide survivors is considerably higher compared to the general Rwandan population. The burden of PTSD in the general Rwandan population declined significantly over time, likely due to treatment of symptoms through strong national mental health programs, peace building and resolution of symptoms over time. To the best of our knowledge little evidence has reported the burden of PTSD prevalence in African post conflict zones particularly in Rwanda. Limitation Limitations of our review include the use of retrospective studies and studies with very small sample sizes, as well as language criterion.

Other publication from the same publishing house