Torture, War Trauma, and Mental Health Symptoms of Newly Arrived Karen Refugees
Date of this version
Karen refugees, torture, war trauma, refugee mental health, mental health screening
This article documents frequencies of torture, war trauma, and associations with mental health distress reported by Karen refugees during their initial public health screening in the United States. A total of 179 Karen refugees completed a demographic questionnaire and 25-item mental health screening tool scored on a 4-point Likert scale. Frequencies of primary and secondary torture were 27.4% and 51.4%, respectively. War trauma was reported by 86% of the participants. Torture, older age, and female gender were significantly associated with increased total distress, posttraumatic stress, depression, and somatic complaints. Recommendations are reviewed for discussing mental health symptoms with Karen refugees.
Journal of Loss and Trauma