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Correlates of somatic symptom disorder among internally displaced persons in Ogoja displacement settlements, Nigeria: a cross-sectional study

Ugbe Maurice-Joel Ugbe
Ekpereonne Babatunde Esu
Obiageli Chiezey Onwusaka
Marvin Muji Bisongedam
Elizabeth Libuo-Beshel Nji
Joseph Ajah Efut
Ofem Irom Ekpo
Faith Ubi Okoi


Background: Experiences of displacement have been associated with the prevalence of mental health disorders owing to certain

Objectives: This study aimed to identify the correlates of Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) among internally displaced adults
in Ogoja displacement settlements, Nigeria.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 335 respondents. SSD was assessed using the SOM-SCL section of the Common
Mental Disorder Questionnaire while a semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemographic and displacement-related factors. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square, and multivariable logistic regression.

Result: The prevalence of somatoform disorder was 59.1%. Factors found to be significant in each bivariate Chi-square analysis
were modelled for the mental disorder. The multivariate analysis revealed that being married (AOR=2.80; p=0.020) prolonged
displacement (AOR=3.29; p=0.003), discrimination (AOR=2.25; p=0.010), disease outbreak (AOR=1.92; p=0.030), loss of
loved ones (AOR=1.34; p=0.028), overcrowded households (AOR=2.30; p=0.008), and fear of reprisals (AOR=2.05; p=0.026)
were significantly associated with somatoform disorder.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the high prevalence of the studied outcome is related to several stressors and events
among Internally displaced persons. Evidence-based mental health support efforts by different bodies in creating and routinely
arranging mental health clinical interventions for this population is recommended.

Keywords: Somatoform; somatic symptom disorder; internally displaced adults.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905