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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2006 May;41(5):400-8. Epub 2006 Mar 6.

Mental disorders among Somali refugees: developing culturally appropriate measures and assessing socio-cultural risk factors.

Author information

1
Centre for Psychiatry Barts & The London Medical School, Charterhouse sq., London, EC1M, UK. k.s.bhui@qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are few mental health data for Somali people. This is due to the absence of culturally validated appropriate assessment instruments and methodological challenges. We aimed to develop a culturally appropriate instrument, and address the methodological challenges and assess some risk factors for mental disorder among Somalis in London.

METHODS:

Following a comprehensive process of cultural adaptation of the MINI Neuropsychiatric Interview, we assessed ICD-10 mental disorders among 143 Somalis recruited from GP registers and community sites. Associations with demographic and economic characteristics, sampling venues, cultural and migration related risk factors are reported.

RESULTS:

A higher risk of mental disorders was found among Somalis who used Khat (OR = 10.5, 1.1-98.3) claimed asylum at entry to the UK (OR = 12.8, 2-81.4) and recruits from primary care rather than from community sites (OR = 5.9, 1.4-25.8). A lower risk of mental disorders was found amongst Somalis in employment (OR = 0.03, 0.01-0.61), and those receiving education in the UK and in Somalia (OR = 0.13, 0.02-0.92). Over a third of subjects had any mental disorder (36.4%, 28.4-44.4), mainly common mental disorders (CMD) (33.8%, 26-41.5) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (14%, 8.8-20.8). CMD were found among 80% of those with PTSD.

CONCLUSION:

Public health interventions for Somalis should focus on CMD as well as PTSD, khat use and mental health screening for suicide risk and mental disorders on arrival.

PMID:
16520881
DOI:
10.1007/s00127-006-0043-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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