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Occurrence and correlates of depressive symptoms among the resettled Afghan refugees in a regional area of Australia


Hamrah, MS and Hoang, H and Mond, J and Pahlavanzade, B and Charkazi, A and Auckland, S, Occurrence and correlates of depressive symptoms among the resettled Afghan refugees in a regional area of Australia, Early intervention in psychiatry pp. 1-8. ISSN 1751-7885 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/eip.12957


Aims: Refugees and asylum seekers are at high risk of mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Elucidating the occurrence and correlates of these problems in specific resettled refugee populations may be helpful in informing tailored prevention and health promotion programs. We sought to elucidate the occurrence and correlates of depressive symptoms among Afghan refugees resettled in Launceston, a regional town of Australia.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 66 resettled Afghan refugees residing in Launceston in April 2019. We used the Hopkins symptoms checklist (HSCL-25) and the post migration living difficulties scale (PMLD) to measure depression symptoms and post-migration variables, respectively. Demographic characteristics and levels of physical activity were also assessed. Multivariate analysis was used to examine factors associated with depressive symptoms.

Results: High levels of depressive symptoms were reported by 21.2% of participants (95% CI: 12.1%-33.0%) and were more common among female participants (41.2%, 95% CI: 18.4%-67.1%) than male participants (14.3%, 95% CI: 5.9%-27.2%). Isolation (loneliness, being or feeling alone) (OR = 19.5, 95% CI: 1.9-203.5) and physical inactivity (OR = 9.2, 95% CI: 1.8-45.8) were the only variables independently associated with depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: Depressive symptoms were common among Afghan refugees living in Launceston, particularly women, and were associated with isolation and physical inactivity. Hence these factors might usefully be targeted in local health promotion and prevention programs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Afghan, depressive symptoms, Launceston, occurrence, refugees
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Hamrah, MS (Dr Mohammad Shoaib Hamrah)
UTAS Author:Hoang, H (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Mond, J (Dr Jon Mond)
UTAS Author:Auckland, S (Mr Stuart Auckland)
ID Code:138580
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2020-04-16
Last Modified:2020-07-28

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