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Recent research shows that psychological distress is on the rise globally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed on populations to manage it. This study looks at the association between psychological distress and social support among conflict refugees in urban, semi-rural and rural settlements in Uganda during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research found there is a settlement-inequality (i.e. rural vs. urban) in psychological distress and social support among conflict refugees in Uganda. To address psychological distress, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) should focus on strategies which strengthen the existing social networks among refugees. Variations in social support are a key predictor of distress which should guide tailored need-adapted interventions instead of duplicating similar and generic interventions across diverse refugee settlements.

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