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The prevalence and correlates of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among resettled Afghan refugees in a regional area of Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 12:17 authored by Mohammad Shoaib HamrahMohammad Shoaib Hamrah, Thi HoangThi Hoang, Jon MondJon Mond, Pahlavanzade, B, Charkazi, A, Stuart AucklandStuart Auckland
Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among resettled refugee populations and may be particularly problematic for refugees who have resettled in rural and regional areas.

Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence and correlates of PTSD among Afghan refugees resettled in a regional area of Australia, namely, Launceston, Tasmania.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 66 resettled Afghan refugees living in Launceston using the Post Migration Living Difficulties Scale (PMLD) and Impact of Event Scale- Revised (IES-R). Descriptive statistics and multivariable analysis of variables associated with a probable diagnosis of PTSD were conducted.

Results: Approximately half of participants 48.8% (95% CI: 36.0–61.1%) met an operational definition of probable PTSD diagnosis according to the IES-R. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, communication difficulties (OR ¼ 14.6, 95% CI: 1.7–124.7), separation from family (OR ¼ 9.9, 95% CI: 1.8–55.5), and self-recognition of a mental health problem (OR ¼ 13.8, 95% CI: 2.4–80.0) were strongly and independently associated with probable PTSD diagnosis. While most participants (81.2%) with a probable PTSD diagnosis recognised that they had a mental health problem, less than half (46.9%) had sought professional help for such a problem.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that there are high rates of PTSD, and relatively low uptake of mental health care by sufferers, among resettled Afghan refugees in the regional area of Launceston, Australia. Factors that might usefully be targeted in health promotion, prevention and early intervention program include communication difficulties, issues of family separation and isolation and aspects of “mental health literacy” likely to detract from help-seeking.


Publication title

Journal of Mental Health




School of Health Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health

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