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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Sex differences in trauma exposure and symptomatology in trauma-affected refugees

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  1. Traumer og psykiske lidelser hos nyankomne flygtninge

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  2. Chronicity of posttraumatic stress disorder and comorbid pain as predictors of treatment response for trauma-affected refugees

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  3. Psykoterapeutisk og psykofarmakologisk behandling af PTSD

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The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine associations between sex, exposure to potentially traumatic events and pre-treatment symptomatology in trauma-affected refugees. We analyzed pre-treatment self-report questionnaires and clinical interviews from 318 refugees with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a specialized mental health clinic. Results show that twice as many females reported exposure to family violence (p = .001) and sexual abuse (p = .004), whereas men were at least three times as likely to report exposure to torture (p <0.001), imprisonment (p < .001), and combat (p < .001). Men reported exposure to more trauma types (p < .001). Women reported more depression (p = .001), anxiety (p = .008) and somatization (p = 0.001), whereas men were diagnosed significantly more with enduring personality change after catastrophic experience (p < .001). Additionally, trauma burden was significantly associated with PTSD (p = .001) and depression (p = .039) scores for women but not men, and imprisonment was associated with a higher PTSD score in women (p = 0.037) but not men. Our findings highlight sex differences in trauma exposure and symptomatology in trauma-affected refugees in host countries, that should be considered when developing mental health interventions for this underserved population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113445
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume293
ISSN0165-1781
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

ID: 60935462