A preliminary investigation into psychological disorders in Mozambican refugees: prevalence and clinical features
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Psychological disorders are common in refugee samples, with several studies showing high rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The present study examined the prevalence and factors associated with psychological disorders in Mozambican refugees in Zimbabwe. The findings indicated a very high prevalence rate (62 pc), which is considerably higher than that obtained from other settings within Zimbabwe. The demographic characteristics were similar in most respects to other Zimbabwean samples, but there was a trend towards greater social adversity (more relationship difficulties, less schooling and higher employment). Clinically, refugees were severe, with high scores on the SRQ-20, a presenting picture of multiple somatic complaints, and a high rate of rated suicidal risk. There were a significant number of refugees who had had an experience with violence in their recent past, as well as there having been frequent life events in the past six months. The implications of these findings are discussed with reference to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the management of psychological disorders generally.