Trauma from Armed Conflict and the Effect on Mental Health in Thailand's Deep South: A Systematic Review VE01-VE06
Mr. Wit Wichaidit,
270 Farber Hall, Buffalo, New York, USA.
Introduction: The Deep South region of Thailand has faced a situation of jihadist insurgency since 2004 with indiscriminate attacks on civilians and more than 19,000 casualties as of September 2016. Despite the large number of casualties, the conflict has received little attention from the international community, and the characteristics and burden of the trauma from the conflict has never been reviewed.
Aim: This review describes the trauma associated with the South Thailand insurgency and the burden of trauma on the mental health of the affected population.
Materials and Methods: Systematic searches were made in English and Thai using PubMed, Google Scholar, and Google. Sources included research articles in peer-reviewed journals and grey literatures in Thai and English languages published between 2004 and 2016, with “Thailand”, “Insurgency” and “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” as keywords. Irrelevant articles were screened out prior to the review.
Results: The present review includes 16 articles, of which 2 articles were listed on PubMed, while 14 articles were found by Google Scholar and Google search in Thai. Most articles were cross-sectional studies. Trauma associated with the conflict can be divided into direct trauma, traumatic grief /loss of loved one, and historical trauma. There was a large degree of heterogeneity in the literature with regard to prevalence and determinants of PTSD and other mental health disorders.
Conclusion: Prevalence of PTSD and mental health disorders in the insurgency area varied widely and could be subjected to biases. Future studies should consider a more accurate measurement of the association between trauma and PTSD and assess for effect modification by adverse childhood experiences.