Objective : To ascertain posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) as a result of experiencing intensely stressful events and to determine the correlates and effects of PTSS on mental health and quality of life (QOL). Design : A cross sectional study. Subjects and Methods : An online survey of survey panelists ages 25-29 who registered with an online survey company. Results : 1) Seventy percent of subjects had experienced stressful events, and the most stressful events they experienced related to “school” and “personal relationships” (in that order). Subjects with an IES-R score of 25 points or more, suggesting PTSD, accounted for 28% of subjects. 2) Severe PTSS were associated with a lower level of education. 3) Mental health and the mental component of health-related QOL tended to worsen with more severe PTSS. Overall mental health was also better with higher awareness of support from family. 4) Awareness of support from family or others was not found to moderate the effects of PTSS on mental health and health-related QOL. Conclusions : These findings suggested that a relatively high percentage of individuals experienced intensely stressful life events besides those that are considered to have a profound impact. Findings also suggested that some individuals with those experiences develop somewhat more intense stress symptoms and that these symptoms may affect mental health and quality of life.
Objective : To elucidate the prevalence of illnesses and healthcare utilization processes among the general population, including infants, in rural Senegal. Methods : We selected 29 households from a farming village (V1) and 21 households from a fishing village (V2) by systematic random sampling. Using a survey questionnaire, face-to-face interviews were conducted to assess illnesses experienced during the past 3 months and type of treatment chosen. Healthcare utilization processes were visually summarized in tree diagrams. Prevalence was calculated separately by age group and illness. Results : The number of valid respondents was 182 in V1 and 128 in V2. In V1 and V2, the total number of illnesses experienced across all respondents was 254 and 198, with a prevalence of 1.4 and 1.5, respectively. The most common first and second healthcare utilization behaviors in V1 were using a Western-style dispensary (n=146 [57%] ) and again using the dispensary (n=36 [46%] ), and in V2 were using Western over-the-counter drugs (n=59 [29%] ) and using a health post where nationally qualified nurses are available (n=16 [42%] ). Conclusions : Although there was little difference in prevalence between the two villages, they differed in terms of illness structure and prevalence by age group, suggesting the need for health and medical care measures that take into account locality and age. The study highlights a gradual transition in the healthcare utilization processes among residents from primary to specialized medical care.