Psychiatric and Psychotherapeutic Care of Refugees by Reference of a Large Psychiatric Care Hospital in Western Germany



Medical and psychological care of refugees is among the most important current challenges in German health politics. Work with patients from this heterogeneous group who have often faced severe stress before, during and after their migration is currently based on a thin data foundation. Based on introductory information on current knowledge concerning psychiatric morbidity of refugees this article presents the psychiatric care of refugees at LVR Clinics Cologne – a psychiatric specialty hospital situated in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. A sample of 239 cases of refugee patients who were referred to in- and outpatient departments of the LVR Clinics Cologne between April 2015 and March 2016 are evaluated in respect of diagnoses, admission modalities and socio-demographic variables. The majority of principal diagnoses (40.2%) belong to the group of stress-related and somatoform disorders (F4 in ICD-10). Mood disorders (F3 in ICD-10) represented 31.0%, followed by mental and behavioral disorders due to psychoactive substance use (F1 in ICD-10) with 15.1%. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was the most prevalent diagnose (13.0%). Among the 29 countries of the patients’ origin Afghanistan (10,0%), Serbia (9.6%) and Kosovo (8.8%) were the most abundant. The diagnoses and the high rate of acute psychiatric events reflect the massive psychological pressure of the patients. The important role of interpreters and mediators specialized in language and integration in the treatment process is emphasized.
Tags: Refugees, Germany, Psychological care, Public health, PTSD

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