Mental Health of Refugees and Non-refugees from War-Conflict Countries: Data from Primary Healthcare Services and the Norwegian Prescription Database

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume 18, Issue 3, June 2016
http://link.springer.com/journal/10903/18/2/page/1
[Issue focus on a range of health parameters and challenges among Latino migrants]

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Open Access :: Original Paper
First Online: 21 June 2016
Mental Health of Refugees and Non-refugees from War-Conflict Countries: Data from Primary Healthcare Services and the Norwegian Prescription Database
DOI: 10.1007/s10903-016-0450-y
Melanie L. Straiton, Anne Reneflot, Esperanza Diaz
Abstract
High rates of mental health problems are consistently found among immigrants from refugee generating countries. While refugees and their family members may have experienced similar traumas, refugees are more likely to have undergone a stressful asylum period. This study aims to determine whether their mental health differs. Using national registry data, refugees and non-refugees from the same countries were compared on primary healthcare service use for mental health problems and purchase of psychotropic medicine. Refugees had higher odds of using primary health care services than non-refugees. Refugee women were more likely to purchase psychotropic medicine than non-refugee women. Refugee men were more likely to purchase anti-depressants. The findings suggest that refugees have poorer mental health than non-refugees. This may be due to a combination of greater pre-migration trauma and post-migration stressors such as enduring a difficult asylum period.