PSYCHIATRIC MORBIDITY AMONG AFGHAN REFUGEES IN PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN

Authors

  • Farooq Naeem
  • Khalid A Mufti
  • Mohammad Ayub
  • Asad Haroon
  • Farida Saifi
  • Saima Mahmood Qureshi
  • Ali Ihsan
  • Haroon Rasheed Chaudry
  • Saif ur Rehman Dagarwal
  • David Kingdon

Abstract

Background: A review of the literature shows that refugees in different parts of the world have high rates of psychological and emotional problems. However, psychiatric morbidity among afghan refugees in Pakistan has been poorly studied. Most of the studies of psychiatric disorders come from western countries. However, these studies may not be representative of the afghan refugees in Pakistan. This study was carried out to measure psychiatric morbidity among a group of Afghan refugees attending a psychiatric clinic in Peshawar, Pakistan. Methods: This is a cross sectional study, to measure prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among the residents of Afghan refugee camps in Peshawar, Pakistan, who attended a psychiatric clinic between November 2003 and February 2004. Data were collected using Mini International neuropsychiatry Interview Schedule (MINI), and a form specifically developed for the study. Results: Nearly 80% of our patients had a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Nearly half, (47.9%) reported family history of mental illness, while almost a quarter 923.3%) had a physical disability or long term illness. Only 13.7% (106) had contacted health services prior to seeking help for their psychiatric illness. Conclusions: A high number of patients presenting with PTSD is not an unusual finding when one considers the traumatic experiences faced by the general population of Afghanistan. Only a small number of the patients had been in contact with the health services prior to their contact with the psychiatric service. This study highlights the importance of  health education among afghan refugees and to establish the mental health services for them.Keywords: Psychiatric, Morbidity, Refugees

References

De jong, J., Scholte, W., Koeter, M., et al (2000) The prevalence of mental health problems in Rwandan and Burundese refugee camps. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 102, 171-177

Summerfield, D. (2001) Asylum seekers, refugees and mental health services in the UK. Psychiatric Bulletin, 25, 161-16

Watters, C. (2001). Emerging paradigms in the mental health care of refugees. Social Science and Medicine, 52, 1709-1718.

Silove, D. (1999) The psychosocial effects of torture, mass human rights violations, and refugee trauma. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 187(4), 200-207.

Gernaat HB, Malwand AD, Laban CJ, Komproe I, De Jong J. (2002) Many psychiatric disorders in Afghan refugees with residential status in Drenthe, especially depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. Jun 15;146(24):1127-31.

Mghir R, Raskin A. (1999) The psychological effects of the war in Afghanistan on young Afghan refugees from different ethnic backgrounds. Int J Soc Psychiatry. Spring;45 (1):29-36; discussion 36-40

Mghir R, Freed W, Raskin A, Katon W. (1995) Depression and posttraumatic stress disorder among a community sample of adolescent and young adult Afghan refugees. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1995 Jan;183(1):24-30.

Sheehan DV, Lecrubier Y, Sheehan KH, Amorim P, Janavs J, Weiller E, Hergueta T, Baker R, Dunbar GC. (1998) Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.): the development and validation of a structured diagnostic psychiatric interview for DSM-IV and ICD-10. J Clin Psychiatry. 59 Suppl 20:22-33;quiz 34-57. Review.

Downloads

Most read articles by the same author(s)