PTSD Symptoms in Afghan Refugees in the UK

Mariwan Husni, Ghafoor Rahim, Zack Cernovsky


Objective: To evaluate anamnestic and sociodemographic correlates of PTSD symptoms in refugees from Afghanistan.

Method: Fifty Afghan refugees in the UK (mean age 37.4 years, SD=12.1; 33 men, 17 women) underwent SCID interview for PTSD, administered in their native language (Pashtun or Dari).

Results: Eighteen (36.0%) reported being tortured while in Afghanistan.  More than half (54.0%) of these refugees met criteria for PTSD. While the diagnosis was not significantly related to age, gender, education, and history of torture, those free of PTSD rated their present occupation in UK as more satisfactory (r=.28, p=.048).

Almost a half (46.0%) of these refugees reported nightmares about the circumstances of their escape from Afghanistan.

Conclusions: Although PTSD symptoms were noted in more than a half of our sample, they were related neither to history of torture nor to sociodemographic variables (age, gender, education).

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