A longitudinal study of mental health in refugees from Burma : the impact of therapeutic interventions

van Wyk, Sierra, Schweitzer, Robert, Brough, Mark K., Vromans, Lyn, & Murray, Kate (2012) A longitudinal study of mental health in refugees from Burma : the impact of therapeutic interventions. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 46(10), pp. 995-1003.

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Objective: The present study seeks to examine the impact of therapeutic interventions for people from refugee backgrounds within a naturalistic setting. Method: Sixty-two refugees from Burma were assessed soon after arriving in Australia. All participants received standard interventions provided by a resettlement organisation which included therapeutic interventions, assessment, social assistance, and referrals where appropriate. At the completion of service provision a follow-up assessment was conducted. Results: Over the course of the intervention, participants experienced a significant decrease in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and somatisation. Pre-intervention symptoms predicted symptoms post-intervention for post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and somatisation. Post-migration living difficulties, the number of traumas experienced, and the number of contacts with the service agency were unrelated to all mental health outcomes. Conclusions: In the first Australian study of its kind, reductions in mental health symptoms post-intervention were significantly linked to pre-intervention symptomatology and the number of therapy sessions predicted post-intervention symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Future studies need to include larger samples and control groups to verify findings.

Impact and interest:

12 citations in Scopus
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13 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 55455
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: refugees, mental health, intervention studies, evaluation, Burma
DOI: 10.1177/0004867412443059
ISSN: 0004-8674
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Sage Publications
Deposited On: 11 Dec 2012 00:57
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2015 09:22

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