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Social support intervention to promote resilience and quality of life in women living in Karachi, Pakistan: a randomized controlled trial



This study tested the efficacy of a 6-week social support intervention for enhancing resilience and quality of life among women living in low socioeconomic areas of Karachi, Pakistan.


One hundred and twenty women were randomly allocated to the intervention (n = 60) or control group (n = 60). Women in the intervention group attended a 6-week social support program, while those in the control group attended a single mental health awareness session. Outcome variables were measured via the resilience scale-14 item (RS-14), the resilience scale for adults (RSA), and World Health Organization quality of life brief scale (WHOQOL-BREF).


Compared to participants in the control group, women in the intervention group reported improvements in resilience measured by RS-14 (p = 0.022) and the structured style subscale of the RSA (p = 0.043). A medium effect size was also measured on the structured style subscale (d = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.62874, 2.57126). No significant findings were noted on QOL scores.


Community-based social support interventions are a gender-sensitive-, culturally appropriate-, and resource-sparing approach to promote women’s resilience and improve their mental health.

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Correspondence to Saima S. Hirani.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Hirani, S.S., Norris, C.M., Van Vliet, K.J. et al. Social support intervention to promote resilience and quality of life in women living in Karachi, Pakistan: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Public Health 63, 693–702 (2018).

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  • Resilience
  • Women
  • Social support
  • Mental health promotion