Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression and Substance Abuse among Female Street-based Sex Workers in Addis Ababa

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Yemataw Wondie
Tegbar Yigzaw
Lynne Koester

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of mental health conditions among female street-based sex workers in Addis Ababa. Quantitative research approach was employed and data were collected using a sampling technique that helped select 200 participants from the sample frame.
Around one-third of the sample was diagnosed as PTSD positive. Over 72% of the participants reported mild to severe level of depression while 43.5% of the participants scored high/severe depressive symptoms. More than 60 % of the sample met the criteria for substance abuse. The analysis of the data showed significant relationships among childhood sexual abuse and current PTSD, depression, and substance abuse symptoms. In conclusion, there was a high prevalence of PTSD, depression and substance abuse among the female/women participants. The targeted samples involved in continuous sex work, despite experiencing work-related violence. Therefore, more targeted interventions and integrated work among different stakeholders should be employed to help these women make positive life changes.

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