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21.04.2018 | Original Article

Social support intervention to promote resilience and quality of life in women living in Karachi, Pakistan: a randomized controlled trial

International Journal of Public Health
Saima S. Hirani, Colleen M. Norris, K. Jessica Van Vliet, Sander Veldhuyzen Van Zanten, Rozina Karmaliani, Gerri Lasiuk



This study tested the efficacy of a 6-week social support intervention for enhancing resilience and quality of life among women living in low socioeconomic areas of Karachi, Pakistan.


One hundred and twenty women were randomly allocated to the intervention (n = 60) or control group (n = 60). Women in the intervention group attended a 6-week social support program, while those in the control group attended a single mental health awareness session. Outcome variables were measured via the resilience scale-14 item (RS-14), the resilience scale for adults (RSA), and World Health Organization quality of life brief scale (WHOQOL-BREF).


Compared to participants in the control group, women in the intervention group reported improvements in resilience measured by RS-14 (p = 0.022) and the structured style subscale of the RSA (p = 0.043). A medium effect size was also measured on the structured style subscale (d = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.62874, 2.57126). No significant findings were noted on QOL scores.


Community-based social support interventions are a gender-sensitive-, culturally appropriate-, and resource-sparing approach to promote women’s resilience and improve their mental health.

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