Mental Health Status of Female Sex Workers Exposed to Violence in Yangon, Myanmar

Yuki Kanayama, Hiroyuki Yamada, Kanako Yoshikawa, Kyaw Wai Aung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Female sex workers (FSWs) are at considerable risk of developing mental disorders due to the potential for violence associated with their work. However, few studies have comprehensively investigated the types of violence and their impact on the mental health of FSWs. Using data collected from 403 FSWs in Yangon, Myanmar, we investigated how various types of violence perpetrated by clients, employers, and partners affect the severity of mental disorders (anxiety and depression) among FSWs. Our results indicate that economic violence perpetrated by clients and threats of violence from partners induce severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. Furthermore, sexual and economic violence perpetrated by employers results in severe symptoms of anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-361
Number of pages8
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May


  • Myanmar
  • mental health
  • sex workers
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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