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31.07.2018 | Brief Communication

Prevalence of Possible Mental Disorders in Syrian Refugees Resettling in the United States Screened at Primary Care

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Arash Javanbakht, Alireza Amirsadri, Hiba Abu Suhaiban, Mohammed Isam Alsaud, Zeina Alobaidi, Zainab Rawi, Cynthia L. Arfken


Little is known about mental health problems among newly arrived Syrian refugees in the US. It is important to determine the prevalence of common consequences of exposure to trauma and high stress, and provide needed interventions, as these conditions if untreated, can be detrimental to mental and physical health. Adult Syrian refugees (n = 157, 47.1% women, 52.9% men) were screened at one-month mandatory primary care health visit for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression using PTSD Checklist, and Hopkins Symptoms Checklist. Prevalence of possible diagnoses was high for PTSD (32.2%), anxiety (40.3%), and depression (47.7%). Possible prevalence of depression and anxiety were higher among women, but there was no gender difference for possible PTSD. We found a high prevalence of possible psychiatric disorders related to trauma and stress among Syrian refugees newly resettled in the US. Due to the high prevalence and feasibility of brief screening tools in primary care facilities, we recommend mental health screening during primary care health visits for resettled Syrian refugees.

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