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Dirgha J. Ghimire photo

Armed Conflict, Family Change and Mental Health

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigators:   Dirgha J. Ghimire, William G. Axinn, Stephanie Chardoul

This proposal seeks PSC Small Grant Support to assist with the translation, refinement, and
validation of key mental health measures used in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative to produce a
viable survey measurement tool for rural Nepal. If successful, we plan to use the new survey measures
produced to propose a substantial new program of research on the mental health consequences of rapid
family change and significant armed conflict in Nepal.

The World Mental Health Survey Initiative (WMH) was successful in implementing the World
Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WHO CIDI) – a standardized
instrument that assesses mental disorders according to both DSM and ICD criteria – in over 30 countries.
The results from this major international data collection effort have been instrumental in showing that
mental health disorders are a substantial portion of the global burden of disease and that the prevalence of
specific disorders varies greatly by social context.
First, unfortunately, this study was relatively less successful in South Asia. A study designed for
Nepal never fully completed data collection and the results were not adequate to be included in the final
dataset. And, though a very large study was fielded in India, it is not clear that the data from India will
ever be available to the public or used in analyses of mental health in South Asia. As a result, the
collection of general population measures of mental health disorders from the South Asian region is an
extremely high scientific and public policy priority.

Funding Period: 12/31/2007 to 03/31/2009

Country of Focus: Nepal

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