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J Immigr Minor Health. 2015 Jun;17(3):852-9. doi: 10.1007/s10903-014-0004-0.

A longitudinal study of changes in asylum seekers ability regarding activities of daily living during their stay in the asylum center.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Copenhagen University Hospital, Frederiksberg, Nordre Fasanvej 57, 2000, Frederiksberg, Denmark,


The aim was to assess change in activities of daily living (ADL) ability amongst asylum seekers and if there were any difference between tortured and non-torture following a 10 months post-arrival period, and if self-reported health and exposure to torture were factors related to change in ADL-ability. The study was a combined baseline, follow-up correlational study amongst individuals from Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, living in Danish asylum centers. Forty-three persons aged 20-50, were invited and participated in the baseline study. Twenty-two were still in asylum center at the follow-up and 17 of them participated. ADL-ability was measured using Assessment of Motor and Process Skills and questionnaires about exposure to torture, self-reported mental health and pain. ADL motor and process measures, well-being and self-rated health declined from baseline to follow-up. Measures of pain and depression increased. Exposure to physical torture and change in ADL motor (r = 0.525) measures were associated, as well as change in current pain and change in ADL process (r = 0.525) measures. Due to preponderance of torture survivors analysis of group difference was not applicable. Health care workers should be aware of ADL concerns and exposure to torture in this population to best address their needs within rehabilitation settings.

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