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High levels of psychological distress among asylum seekers and refugees in Sweden
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology. 202100-4524.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0011-7770
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2018 (Swedish)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In 2015 there was an unforeseen increase of refugees worldwide. In order to face the high rates of psychological distress refugees suffer, the AMIR-project created a model for early assessment and intervention of mental health among refugees. Previous research might not be applicable to the groups seeking asylum in Europe from 2015, so as a first step, a study aiming to estimate the prevalence of mental health problems was conducted.  

Methods. Five hundred and ten refugees participated at open screenings conducted at refugee housing facilities. Of the participants, 367 were asylum seekers and 143 had received a residence permit. Instruments included measures of depressive symptoms, anxiety, risk of having PTSD and quality of life.

Preliminary results. A high percentage of individuals (56-58.4%) reported clinically significant levels of depression, anxiety and risk of having PTSD. Prevalence estimates were significantly higher among asylum seekers than among those who had received their residence permit. Quality of life was generally rated below population norms and correlated significantly with mental health outcomes.

Conclusions. Individuals residing in refugee housing facilities show high levels of psychological distress. Asylum seekers are worse off than those having received a residence permit. Actions should be taken to improve conditions in housing facilities, to shorten the time awaiting the asylum decision and to provide psychosocial support to help individuals manage their distress during the time of waiting.

Key words: Refugee – asylum seeker – mental health – quality of life - prevalence

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-35121OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-35121DiVA, id: diva2:1269208
Conference
association of psychological Science, APS
Available from: 2018-12-10 Created: 2018-12-10 Last updated: 2018-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Leiler, AnnaBjärtå, AnnaEkdahl, JohannaWasteson, Elisabet

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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