Post‑traumatic stress disorder in refugee minors in an outpatient care center: prevalence and associated factors


Due to their likelihood for experiencing a number of traumatic events, refugee minors have an increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the prevalence of PTSD in refugee children varies widely between studies, and it remains somewhat unclear what factors increase children’s risk of PTSD. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of PTSD in a clinical outpatient sample of refugee minors, and to evaluate the association of different risk factors with a PTSD diagnosis. N = 417 refugee minors were recruited from an outpatient clinical center in Hamburg, Germany. The median age was 15.4 years and 74.6% of the minors were male. As part of the standard diagnostic process, their social history and a potential PTSD diagnosis using the Module K of the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents (MINI-KID) was assessed. The predictive value of age, gender, number of interpersonal traumatic events, un-/accompanied status, presence of family member in the host country, flight duration, residence status, and time since arrival in the host country were investigated using logistic regression analysis. The prevalence of PTSD among the young refugee patients was 61.6%. Significant predictors of a PTSD diagnosis were number of interpersonal traumatic life events, age, residence status, and time since arrival in the host country. The prediction model explained 33.8% of variance of the outcome with the number of interpersonal traumatic events having the largest contribution (20.8%). The high prevalence of PTSD among refugee minors in outpatient care emphasizes the need to establish appropriate care structures and train specialists in the treatment of PTSD.

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StatusVeröffentlicht - 09.2021