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Psychological distress in Kashmiri diaspora due to total communication blockade in Kashmir

Qazi, A; Firdosi, MM; Jan, F; Majeed, A (2020) Psychological distress in Kashmiri diaspora due to total communication blockade in Kashmir. JK Practitioner, 25 (1-4). pp. 1-5. ISSN 0971-8834
SGUL Authors: Firdosi, Muhammad Mudasir

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On 5th August 2019, India imposed a complete communication blockade in Kashmir including telephones, mobiles, and Internet services. Kashmiris living across the world were unable to communicate with families back in Kashmir. We conducted an online study using the HADS (Hospital anxiety and Depression) rating scale to measure the psychological distress in Kashmiri diaspora due to communication blackout and conflict in their country of origin. An online survey questionnaire using the HADS rating scale was circulated to consenting Kashmiri participants over 18 years of age using social networks. A total of 465 responses were anonymously received over 4 weeks. The results show very high scores for both anxiety and depressive symptoms across the whole sample. The results on the anxiety sub-scale showed 89% of the sample scoring above the cut off for “caseness” or “abnormal”. The scores on the depression subscale showed that 88% of the sample fell within the abnormal range. The consequences of conflict are far reaching and can cause significant psychological distress to the diaspora. Our study shows very high rates of both Anxiety and Depressive symptoms in the respondents, who were unable to contact their families due to information blackout. To the best of our knowledge, there is hardly any such study conducted before. Further research is needed to understand the full extent of such conflict situations and communication blackout on diaspora population.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: General Clinical Medicine
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Institute of Medical & Biomedical Education (IMBE)
Journal or Publication Title: JK Practitioner
ISSN: 0971-8834
December 2020Published
1 September 2020Accepted

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