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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2002 Dec;106(6):415-25.

A 3-year follow-up study of psychosocial functioning and general symptoms in settled refugees.

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Psychosocial Centre for Refugees, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.



Few community studies have addressed the longitudinal course of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in traumatized refugees in early resettlement. This longitudinal study investigated changes from the first (T1) to the second interview (T2), 3 years later. The relationship between traumatic exposures and psychosocial factors/psychological symptom load were examined.


Local health professionals performed the interviews, using rating scales and a structured questionnaire. A total of 240 (52%) refugees attended.


Unchanged Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 and increase in Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and post-traumatic stress symptoms-16 between T1 and T2 were found, indicating the severity and chronicity of problems. Mean post-traumatic stress score was 15% above cut-off. Severe life-threatening trauma and present life in exile with unemployment and unresolved family reunion were risk factors.


Early diagnostic interview should be followed by targeted approach. Pinpointing those in need of specialist services is essential. An interdisciplinary approach is necessary in this work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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