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Challenging future, challenging past: the relationship of social integration and psychological impairment in traumatized refugees


Schick, Matthis; Zumwald, Andre; Knöpfli, Bina; Nickerson, Angela; Bryant, Richard A; Schnyder, Ulrich; Müller, Julia; Morina, Naser (2016). Challenging future, challenging past: the relationship of social integration and psychological impairment in traumatized refugees. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 7:28057.

Abstract

Background: Refugees have been shown to present high prevalence rates of trauma-related mental disorders. Despite their psychological impairment, they are expected to meet high functional requirements in terms of social integration into, and financial independence from, the host society.
Methods: This cross-sectional study examined the relationship of mental health problems, post-migration living difficulties (PMLD), and social integration in a sample of 104 refugees seeking treatment for severe posttraumatic stress and comorbid symptoms in two outpatient clinics in Switzerland.
Results: Despite an average time of residence in Switzerland of over 10 years, participants showed poor integration and a high number of PMLD. Integration difficulties were closely associated with psychological symptoms, but not with socio-demographic parameters such as education or visa status.
Conclusions: Psychological impairment in treatment-seeking traumatized refugees is associated with poor integration. To foster social integration, it is crucial to better understand and address the specific needs of this highly vulnerable population.

Abstract

Background: Refugees have been shown to present high prevalence rates of trauma-related mental disorders. Despite their psychological impairment, they are expected to meet high functional requirements in terms of social integration into, and financial independence from, the host society.
Methods: This cross-sectional study examined the relationship of mental health problems, post-migration living difficulties (PMLD), and social integration in a sample of 104 refugees seeking treatment for severe posttraumatic stress and comorbid symptoms in two outpatient clinics in Switzerland.
Results: Despite an average time of residence in Switzerland of over 10 years, participants showed poor integration and a high number of PMLD. Integration difficulties were closely associated with psychological symptoms, but not with socio-demographic parameters such as education or visa status.
Conclusions: Psychological impairment in treatment-seeking traumatized refugees is associated with poor integration. To foster social integration, it is crucial to better understand and address the specific needs of this highly vulnerable population.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Klinik für Konsiliarpsychiatrie und Psychosomatik
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:21 Dec 2016 15:16
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 11:06
Publisher:Co-Action Publishing
ISSN:2000-8066
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v7.28057

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