The Range and Impact of Postmigration Stressors During Treatment of Trauma-Affected Refugees

Maja Bruhn, Susan Rees, Mohammed Mohsin, Derrick Silove, Jessica Carlsson

21 Citations (Scopus)


Trauma-affected refugees commonly experience postmigration stressors, which can compound conflict-related emotional distress. Our study aimed to assess clinician-rated frequency and types of postmigration stressors deemed to be interfering with the treatment of refugees attending a service for trauma-related mental distress. A total of 116 patients completed 6 months of multidisciplinary treatment. Clinician-rated postmigration stressors were registered at each session. Outcome measures were Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and Global Assessment of Functioning, function (GAF-F) and symptom. Postmigration stressors were deemed to impact on 39.1% of treatment sessions with medical personnel. Issues related to work, finances, and family were the most frequently identified stressors. Postmigration stressors interfering with treatment were more common among male refugees, those living alone, those from Middle Eastern origin, and persons with low baseline GAF-F. Explicitly identifying and, where possible, dealing with postmigration stressors may assist in averting their interference with the treatment of distress in refugees.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of nervous and mental disease
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Journal Article


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