Chronic PTSD and Medical Services Utilization by Asylum Seekers

Author(s): Boris DROZDEK, Abdul Karim NOOR, Monique LUTT, and David W. FOY

Abstract: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with frequent utilization of medical services. The primary aim of this study was to examine the relationship between these variables in a sample of asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Secondly, the hypothesis that those participants who had received therapy for their PTSD would make fewer medical visits than untreated PTSD positive participants was tested. Participants were male adult asylum seekers originating from Asian and African countries, who were administered a structured questionnaire focused on demographic and social issues, the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist. In addition, their medical files were reviewed to determine the frequency of documented medical visits. Results showed that asylum seekers with PTSD had more medical consultation visits than those without PTSD. Additionally, those asylum seekers who had received therapy for their PTSD had significantly fewer consultations than those with untreated PTSD.

Key words: PTSD, Netherlands, Men, Asylum Seekers, HTQ, HSC

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