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Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 389–395 | Cite as

Mental Health Status of Human Rights Workers, Kosovo, June 2000

  • Timothy H. Holtz
  • Peter Salama
  • Barbara Lopes Cardozo
  • Carol A. Gotway
Article

Abstract

Human rights workers in humanitarian relief settings may be exposed to traumatic events that put them at risk for psychiatric morbidity. We conducted a cross-sectional survey in June 2000 to study the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among 70 expatriate and Kosovar Albanian staff collecting human rights data in Kosovo. Among those surveyed, elevated levels of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms were found in 17.1, 8.6, and 7.1% respectively. Multiple regression analysis revealed that human rights workers at risk for elevated anxiety symptoms were those who had worked with their organization longer than 6 months, those who had experienced an armed attack, and those who experienced local hostility. Our study indicates that human rights organizations should consider mental health assessment, care, and prevention programs for their staff.

human rights mental health trauma anxiety 

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Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy H. Holtz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Peter Salama
    • 2
    • 4
  • Barbara Lopes Cardozo
    • 4
  • Carol A. Gotway
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Parasitic DiseasesNational Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlanta
  2. 2.Epidemic Intelligence Service, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlanta
  3. 3.New York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneNew York
  4. 4.International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlanta
  5. 5.Environmental Hazards and Health EffectsNational Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlanta

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