Digital Public Defence: Win Thuzar Aye

MSc, MD Win Thuzar Aye at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “Prevalence and Associated Factors of Domestic Violence and Mental Health Problems in Yangon, Myanmar” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Researcher Tun Myint, Simon Fraser University
  • Second opponent: Researcher II Lise Eilin Stene, Norwegian centre for violence and traumatic stress studies, Section for Trauma, catastrophes and forced migration - children and youths
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Knut Reidar Wangen, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Jan Helge Solbakk, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Espen Bjertness, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Research on the extent and impact of domestic violence and mental health problems is essential for policy makers and health care providers for addressing law enforcement, policies, and programs to prevent and respond to domestic violence and mental health problems. Many people still believe that evil spirits and witchcraft cause mental health problems. Stigmatization and discrimination from society has resulted in mental health problems becoming a hidden epidemic. In Myanmar society, domestic violence is accepted as a private family matter. Women accept that sex with their husbands is their duty as a wife, and they feel ashamed or stigmatized regarding abuse; thus, domestic violence remains hidden. Additionally, marital rape is legal; there is no specific law in Myanmar that aims to help preventing marital rape and punish perpetrators.

The aims of the study were to estimate the prevalence of mental health problems and domestic violence, to assess association between education and mental distress, and finally to investigate the association between domestic violence and mental health problems among 18–49 year-old men and women in Yangon region of Myanmar.

We conducted a household-based cross-sectional study with a multistage proportional sampling design, with face-to-face interviews, in the Yangon region of Myanmar in 2016.

The prevalence of mental distress and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD symptoms) were 18.0% and 5%, respectively, and being higher among women than men. The lifetime prevalence of any domestic violence victimization was significantly higher in women (61.8%) compared to men (42.4 %). The prevalence of any form of childhood violence was 21.1%. An inverse association between education and mental distress among women and older men was found. Mental distress was significantly associated with lifetime domestic violence, and childhood violence was positively associated with mental health problems (including mental distress and PTSD symptoms) in both men and women.

Public awareness campaigns and educational programs on mental health, domestic violence and child abuse could be executed immediately in order to help preventing the problems and to help rehabilitation of the victims.  Policy makers should prioritize program changes, including legal and policy reforms.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Nov. 22, 2021 10:22 AM - Last modified Dec. 6, 2021 1:44 PM