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The prevalence and correlates of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among resettled Afghan refugees in a regional area of Australia


Hamrah, MS and Hoang, Ha and Mond, J and Pahlavanzade, B and Charkazi, A and Auckland, S, The prevalence and correlates of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among resettled Afghan refugees in a regional area of Australia, Journal of Mental Health ISSN 0963-8237 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/09638237.2020.1739247


Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among resettled refugee populations and may be particularly problematic for refugees who have resettled in rural and regional areas.

Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence and correlates of PTSD among Afghan refugees resettled in a regional area of Australia, namely, Launceston, Tasmania.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 66 resettled Afghan refugees living in Launceston using the Post Migration Living Difficulties Scale (PMLD) and Impact of Event Scale- Revised (IES-R). Descriptive statistics and multivariable analysis of variables associated with a probable diagnosis of PTSD were conducted.

Results: Approximately half of participants 48.8% (95% CI: 36.061.1%) met an operational definition of probable PTSD diagnosis according to the IES-R. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, communication difficulties (OR 14.6, 95% CI: 1.7124.7), separation from family (OR 9.9, 95% CI: 1.855.5), and self-recognition of a mental health problem (OR 13.8, 95% CI: 2.480.0) were strongly and independently associated with probable PTSD diagnosis. While most participants (81.2%) with a probable PTSD diagnosis recognised that they had a mental health problem, less than half (46.9%) had sought professional help for such a problem.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that there are high rates of PTSD, and relatively low uptake of mental health care by sufferers, among resettled Afghan refugees in the regional area of Launceston, Australia. Factors that might usefully be targeted in health promotion, prevention and early intervention program include communication difficulties, issues of family separation and isolation and aspects of "mental health literacy" likely to detract from help-seeking.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:refugees, Afghan, Launceston, PTSD, mental health, mental health literacy
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Hamrah, MS (Dr Mohammad Shoaib Hamrah)
UTAS Author:Hoang, Ha (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Mond, J (Dr Jon Mond)
UTAS Author:Auckland, S (Mr Stuart Auckland)
ID Code:138307
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2020-03-31
Last Modified:2020-05-22

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