Abuse and mental disorders among women at walk-in clinics in Trinidad: A cross-sectional study

Maharaj, Rohan G.; Alexander, Colanne; Bridglal, Candace H.; Edwards, Aysha; Mohammed, Hassina; Rampaul, Teri-Ann; Sanchez, Sharlene; Tanwing, Gina P.; Thomas, Kristy
January 2010
BMC Family Practice;2010, Vol. 11, p26
Academic Journal
Background: To determine the prevalence of abuse by their partners and its association with mental disorders among female patients at walk-in clinics in Trinidad. Methods: Female participants from 16 randomly selected walk-in clinics, previously stratified to represent all administrative regions and urban and rural settings, who were 18 years or older, were surveyed during May to August 2007 using the WAST-Short and PRIME-MD questionnaires. Results: 432 women participated (a 92% response rate), Of these 16% were aged 20-29, 11.8% 30-39 and 19% 40- 49; 37% were married, 25% single; 44.7% were Indo- and 35% Afro-Trinidadian; 67.8% had achieved education up to age 14 only. 30.3% were employed and 3.0% reported incomes more than $5,001 TTD (Trinidad and Tobago Dollars) per month. Forty percent (173) of all respondents were positive for abuse as scored by the WAST-Short scale. Chi-square analysis suggested associations (p < 0.05) between abuse and age, employment status, being in a current relationship, and having the desire to cut down on alcohol intake. Further there were associations between abuse and the presence of depression, suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress disorder and somatization as determined by the PRIME-MD scale. Logistic regression showed that the statistically significant (p < 0.05) predictors of woman abuse were age less than 49, wanting to cut down on alcohol use and currently being in a relationship. Conclusion: Among women of primarily lower socioeconomic status who attend walk-in clinics in Trinidad abuse as measured by the WAST-Short scale is high and there are statistically significant associations with mental disorders as determined by the PRIME-MD scale.


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