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Estimates of refugees with PTSD likely too low

Published onsdag 18 maj 2016 kl 11.13
PTSD in refugees could outpace estimates
(1:04 min)
Prof. Fredrik Saboonchi at the Red Cross University College. Photo: Johan Bergendorff/Sveriges Radio
Prof. Fredrik Saboonchi at the Red Cross University College. Photo: Johan Bergendorff/Sveriges Radio

The percentage of refugees who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related disorders could be much higher in Sweden than the recent estimates of 9 to 10 percent, according to a researcher studying the problem.

Fredrik Saboonchi, a psychology professor and leading researcher at the Red Cross University College, believes that previous estimates on trauma-related disorders among refugees are too low.

Given the clinical observations for an on-going study, Saboonchi expects that the rate of PTSD will be upwards of 10 percent and says that the services available to these individuals are already insufficient.

With the increasing number of refugees to Sweden, there is a greater demand for treatment centers specializing in PTSD and mental health. There are already long wait times between 10 months and one year to receive care.

The earlier people are treated, the better the results. Saboonchi also says that a good bill of mental health plays an important role in helping with the integration of refugees into Swedish society.

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