Refugees have a significantly increased risk of psychotic disorders ;
refugees face a substantially higher risk of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, compared with migrants are not refugees from the same regions of origin, finds a study published in the BMJ today.
Refugees are known to have an increased risk of mental health problems , such as post traumatic stress disorder and common mental disorders, compared with migrants who are not refugees, but little is known about their risk of psychosis.
So a team of researchers from Karolinska and UCL Institute conducted a study to determine the risk of schizophrenia and other non-affective psychotic disorders among refugees, compared to migrants who are not refugees, and the general population Swedish.
Researchers used a national data links registry to examine more than 1.3 million people in Sweden and followed in the diagnosis of non-affective psychotic disorders among the population.
On a per capita basis, Sweden has granted more refugee claims than any other high-income country, and in 2011, refugees constituted 12% of the total population of immigrants.
The cohort included people born two Swedish-born parents, refugees and migrants not refugees, of the four major regions of refugees generation :. Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia
Results showed 3,704 cases of non-affective psychotic disorders for the 8.9 million person-years of follow-up.
The refugees were granted asylum on average 66% more likely to develop schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder not affective immigrants not refugees. In addition, they were up to 3.6 times more likely to do so than the population of Swedish origin.
incidence rates of non-affective psychoses were 385 per million in those born in Sweden, 804 per million migrants who are not refugees, and 1,264 per million refugees.
The rate of increase of refugees was significant for all areas of origin, except sub-Saharan Africa, for which the rates of both groups were equally high in relation to the population of Swedish origin.
One possible explanation is that “a higher proportion of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa will have been exposed to harmful psychosocial adversities before emigration, regardless of refugee status,” the authors suggest.
Alternatively, it is also possible that the “post-migration factors, such as discrimination, racism and social exclusion” can explain these high rates.
In general, they say “our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the increased risk of non-affective psychotic disorders among immigrants to a higher frequency of exposure to social adversity is due before migration, including the effects of war, violence or persecution. “
They add the findings emphasize “the need for early signs and symptoms of psychosis into account in refugee populations, as part of the responses of mental health clinics to current humanitarian crises in the world.”
In a related editorial, Cornelius Katona, medical director of the Foundation Helen Bamber says “a robust mental health response to refugees” crisis “must be on a combination of clinical monitoring, recognition of vulnerability factors and above all, a determination to minimize the aggravating effects of post-migration experiences “.
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Posted in: Psychology & Psychiatry