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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2010 Apr;198(4):237-51. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181d61258.

A systematic review of treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder among refugees and asylum-seekers.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. niall.crumlish@tcd.ie

Abstract

Recent years have seen a consensus emerge on the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the general population. No such consensus exists for refugees, although the rate of PTSD among refugees is 10 times that of the general population. We conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trial of treatment of PTSD among refugees and asylum-seekers. We rated trials with a risk of bias table and drew conclusions about the evidence for individual therapies. Ten randomized, controlled trials (n = 528) met our search criteria. Trials were small, and allocation concealment and blinding were inadequate. No treatment was firmly supported, but there was evidence for narrative exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Future trials should evaluate interventions that are developed within refugees' cultures, based on a local understanding of trauma and psychological distress.

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