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Difficult to treat? a comparison of the effectiveness of treatment as usual in refugees and non-refugees

  • F. Jackie June ter Heide (a1) and Geert E. Smid (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

To examine treatment response in traumatised refugees, we compared routine outcome monitoring data (Harvard Trauma Questionnaire) of two refugee populations with those of individuals experiencing profession-related trauma who were treated at a specialised psychotrauma institute.

Results

Asylum seekers/temporary refugees (n = 21) and resettled refugees (n = 169) showed significantly lower post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom reduction between intake and 1 year after intake than did a comparison group of non-refugees (n = 37), but the interaction effect was clinically small (partial η2 = 0.03). Refugees who had more severe symptoms at intake showed significantly greater symptom reduction after 1 year.

Clinical implications

Therapists and refugee patients should have realistic expectations about response to treatment as usual. Additional treatment focusing on improving quality of life may be needed for refugees whose PTSD symptom severity remains high. At the same time, novel approaches may be developed to boost treatment response in refugee patients with low responsiveness.

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Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Jackie June ter Heide (j.ter.heide@centrum45.nl)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
  • EISSN: 2056-4708
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Difficult to treat? a comparison of the effectiveness of treatment as usual in refugees and non-refugees

  • F. Jackie June ter Heide (a1) and Geert E. Smid (a1)
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