Background: In the context of multiple adversities, women are demonstrating resilience in rebuilding their futures, through participation in microfinance programs. In addition to the economic benefits of microfinance, there is evidence to suggest that it is an effective vehicle for improving health. Methods: The parent study is a community-based trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a livestock microfinance intervention, Pigs for Peace (PFP), on health and economic outcomes with households in 10 villages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The analysis for this manuscript includes only baseline data from female participants enrolled in the ongoing parent study. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine if livestock/animal asset value moderates the relationship between conflict-related traumatic events and current mental health symptoms. Findings: The majority of women are 25 years or older, married, have on average 4 children in the home and have never attended school. Nearly 50% of women report having at least one livestock/animal asset at baseline. Over the past 10 years, women report on average more than 4 (M54.31, SD 3.64) traumatic events (range 0-18). Women reported symptoms consistent with PTSD with a mean score of ?2.30 (SD=0.66range 0-4) and depression with a mean score of 1.86 (SD=0.49, range 0-3.47). The livestock/animal asset value by conflict-related traumatic events interaction was significant for both the PTSD (p=0.021) and depression (p=0.002) symptom models. Interpretation: The study provides evidence of the moderating affect of livestock/ animal assets on mental health symptoms for women who have experienced conflict. The findings supports evidence about the importance of livestock/animal assets to economics in rural households but expands on previous research by demonstrating the psychosocial effects of these assets on women's health. Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov NCT02008708.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)