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The prevalence and correlates of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among resettled Afghan refugees in a regional area of Australia

Hamrah, MS ORCID: 0000-0003-1758-8341, Hoang, Ha ORCID: 0000-0001-5116-9947, Mond, J ORCID: 0000-0002-0410-091X, Pahlavanzade, B, Charkazi, A and Auckland, S ORCID: 0000-0001-7972-0227 2020 , 'The prevalence and correlates of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among resettled Afghan refugees in a regional area of Australia' , Journal of Mental Health , doi:

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Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among resettled refugee populationsand may be particularly problematic for refugees who have resettled in rural and regional areas.Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence and correlates of PTSD among Afghan refugeesresettled in a regional area of Australia, namely, Launceston, Tasmania.Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 66 resettled Afghan refugees living inLaunceston using the Post Migration Living Difficulties Scale (PMLD) and Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Descriptive statistics and multivariable analysis of variables associated with a probablediagnosis of PTSD were conducted.Results: Approximately half of participants 48.8% (95% CI: 36.0–61.1%) met an operational definitionof probable PTSD diagnosis according to the IES-R. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, communicationdifficulties (OR ¼ 14.6, 95% CI: 1.7–124.7), separation from family (OR ¼ 9.9, 95% CI:1.8–55.5), and self-recognition of a mental health problem (OR ¼ 13.8, 95% CI: 2.4–80.0) were stronglyand independently associated with probable PTSD diagnosis. While most participants (81.2%) with aprobable PTSD diagnosis recognised that they had a mental health problem, less than half (46.9%)had sought professional help for such a problem.Conclusions: The findings suggest that there are high rates of PTSD, and relatively low uptake ofmental health care by sufferers, among resettled Afghan refugees in the regional area of Launceston,Australia. Factors that might usefully be targeted in health promotion, prevention and early interventionprogram include communication difficulties, issues of family separation and isolation and aspectsof “mental health literacy” likely to detract from help-seeking.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hamrah, MS and Hoang, Ha and Mond, J and Pahlavanzade, B and Charkazi, A and Auckland, S
Keywords: refugees, Afghan, Launceston, PTSD, mental health, mental health literacy
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Mental Health
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0963-8237
DOI / ID Number:
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