Prevalence and characteristics of stress among bereaved parents after the death of their under-five children in the urban slums of Karachi, Pakistan
Keywords:Stress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Child Mortality, Parents, Mental Health
Introduction: To understand the prevalence of stress and identifying the prevalence of different differentials of stress among bereaved parents of died under-five children is of utmost importance. This paper is based on the data from Karachi VASA under-five mortality study. The cases of this study are bereaved parents of deceased under-five children belonging to randomly selected 12 slums of Karachi city. Methodology: A total of 321 parents excluded out form enrolment in VASA study were undergone stress assessment using Sadaf Stress Scale (SSS). Results: It was found that 100% of them were truly stressed in one form or the other and the distribution is equally affecting all the slums (with slight variations). Females were found highly stressed (72%) than males (28%). The most prevalent types of stress identified were emotional (67%), traumatic (17.2%) and mental stress (7%). Out of all the stressed parents, a high proportion belongs to highest severity. The highest prevalence of the severity of traumatic stress shows that the large proportion of stressed parents have gone to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), especially among mothers. Conclusion: The results are quiet disturbing. The data shows that there is a high prevalence of traumatic, physical and emotional stress among bereaved parents (especially mothers) of deceased children. The prevalence of traumatic stress and its severity shows that a high proportion of stressed parents have gone to PTSD, which again have a huge impact on the overall mental health of the affected and the close family members.