In recent years there has been a progressive rise in the number of asylum seekers and refugees displaced from their country of origin, with significant social, economic, humanitarian and public health implications. The aim of this study is to describe the frequency and correlates of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders in asylum seekers and refugees resettled in an Italian catchment area. In the catchment area of Verona, all male asylum seekers and refugees aged 18 or above included in the Italian protection system for asylum seekers and refugees during a period of 1 year were screened for psychological distress and psychiatric disorders using validated questionnaires. During the study period, 109 asylum seekers or refugees were recruited. The frequency of traumatic events experienced was very high. More than one-third of the participants (36%) showed clinically relevant psychological distress, and one-fourth (25%), met the criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis, mainly PTSD and depressive disorders. In multivariate analyses, time after departure, length of stay in the host country and number of traumatic events were independent factors associated with psychological distress and psychiatric disorders. In an unselected sample of male asylum seekers and refugees, after around 1 year of resettlement in an Italian catchment area, the frequency of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders was substantial and clinically relevant. Health care systems should include a mental health component to recognise and effectively treat mental health conditions.

Prevalence and Correlates of Psychological Distress and Psychiatric Disorders in Asylum Seekers and Refugees Resettled in an Italian Catchment Area

NOSE', Michela
;
TURRINI, GIULIA;Imoli, Maria;BALLETTE, FRANCESCA;OSTUZZI, Giovanni;RUGGERI, Mirella;BARBUI, Corrado
2018

Abstract

In recent years there has been a progressive rise in the number of asylum seekers and refugees displaced from their country of origin, with significant social, economic, humanitarian and public health implications. The aim of this study is to describe the frequency and correlates of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders in asylum seekers and refugees resettled in an Italian catchment area. In the catchment area of Verona, all male asylum seekers and refugees aged 18 or above included in the Italian protection system for asylum seekers and refugees during a period of 1 year were screened for psychological distress and psychiatric disorders using validated questionnaires. During the study period, 109 asylum seekers or refugees were recruited. The frequency of traumatic events experienced was very high. More than one-third of the participants (36%) showed clinically relevant psychological distress, and one-fourth (25%), met the criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis, mainly PTSD and depressive disorders. In multivariate analyses, time after departure, length of stay in the host country and number of traumatic events were independent factors associated with psychological distress and psychiatric disorders. In an unselected sample of male asylum seekers and refugees, after around 1 year of resettlement in an Italian catchment area, the frequency of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders was substantial and clinically relevant. Health care systems should include a mental health component to recognise and effectively treat mental health conditions.
asylum seeker; mental health; psychological distress; refugee
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/976010
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