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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression and its associated factors among former Afghan refugees in Launceston, Tasmania

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Hamrah, MS ORCID: 0000-0003-1758-8341 2020 , 'Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression and its associated factors among former Afghan refugees in Launceston, Tasmania', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

There are over 2.5 million Afghan refugees who make up the second largest refugee population in the world. Afghans have fled their homeland due to widespread, protracted conflict across the country. Afghan refugees are at high risk of trauma-related mental health problems due to exposure to war traumas, which precipitates ongoing social stressors and daily grievances that affect many events long after resettlement.
Few studies have examined the mental health of Afghan refugees resettled in Australia, notwithstanding the fact that Australia is among the largest per capita recipient of humanitarian entrants. Furthermore, limited research has investigated the mental health of Afghan refugees who have resettled in regional areas of Australia. Studying these issues in regional areas may be particularly important, given that access to health services is known to be particularly poor in these areas. Therefore, this study examined the occurrence and correlates of symptoms of PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) and depression among Afghan refugees resettled in Launceston, a regional area of Australia.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 66 resettled Afghan refugees living in Launceston using the Post Migration Living Difficulties Scale (PMLD), the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist (HSCL-25). Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis were performed. The prevalence of PTSD symptoms among participants was 48.8%. Most participants (81.2%) with PTSD symptoms recognised that they had a mental health problem. However, approximately half (48.5%) of participants with PTSD symptoms had sought help for a mental health problem. Communication difficulties, family separation and self-recognition of PTSD symptoms were associated with PTSD symptoms. The prevalence of depression symptoms was 21.2%, with females having significantly higher prevalence than males. Isolation and physical inactivity were independently associated with depression symptoms.
The results of this study suggested that there were high rates of PTSD and depression symptoms and relatively low uptake of mental health care among resettled Afghan refugees in Launceston, Australia. Factors that might usefully be targeted in health promotion, prevention and early intervention programs include communication difficulties, family separation, barriers to help-seeking, physical inactivity, and isolation.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Hamrah, MS
Keywords: PTSD, depression, resettled Afghan refugees, Launceston
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 the author

Additional Information:

Chapter 4.1 appears to be the equivalent of an Author’s Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of mental health on 28 March 2020, available at http://wwww.tandfonline. com/0.1080/09638237.2020.1739247

Chapter 4.2 appears to be the equivalent of the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Hamrah, M. S., Hoang, H., Mond, J., Pahlavanzade, B., Charkazi, A., Auckland, S., 2020. Occurrence and correlates of depressive symptoms among the resettled Afghan refugees in a regional area of Australia, Early intervention in psychiatry, early view, 1– 8, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12957. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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