Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Psychiatric Co-Morbidity: Symptoms in a Random Sample of Female Bosnian Refugees


Sundquist, Kristina, Leena-Maria Johansson, Valeri DeMarinis, Sven-Erik Johansson, Jan Sundquist. 2005. "Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Psychiatric Co-Morbidity: Symptoms in a Random Sample of Female Bosnian Refugees." European Psychiatry 20 (2): 158-164.

Authors: Kristina Sundquist, Leena-Maria Johansson, Valeri DeMarinis, Sven-Erik Johansson, Jan Sundquist


Objectives: This study investigated psychological symptoms in Bosnian women 3–4 years after their arrival in Sweden.

Subjects and methods: A simple random sample of 163 Bosnian women aged 19–59 was drawn from the Swedish populations register in 1996. The control group consisted of 392 Swedish-born women. Data were collected in face-to-face interviews. The Hopkins Symptom Checklist 25 (HSCL-25) and the Posttraumatic Symptom Scale (PTSS-10) were used to measure psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) for psychological symptoms after adjustment for age, country of birth, education, marital status, economic difficulties, social network, and feeling secure.

Results: The prevalence of symptoms of PTSD was 28.3% among the Bosnian women. Bosnian women had significantly higher risks of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and psychological distress than Swedish-born women. For depression the odds ratio was 9.50 among Bosnian women.

Conclusion: Psychiatric community interventions need to target Bosnian refugee women. Awareness among health-care workers who encounter these women in a clinical setting should be improved.

Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder, mental health, female refugees, depression, anxiety

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sweden

Year: 2005

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