Comparison of psychiatric disability on the health of nation outcome scales (HoNOS) in resettled traumatized refugee outpatients and Danish inpatients

Sabina Palic, Michelle Lind Kappel, Monica Stougaard Nielsen, Jessica Carlsson, Per Bech

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Background: Currently, the mental health issues of traumatized refugees are mainly documented in terms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Importantly, there are no reports of the level of psychiatric disability in treatment seeking traumatized refugees resettled in the West. Insufficient acknowledgment of the collective load of bio-psycho-social problems in this patient group hinders effective psychiatric and social service utilization outside the specialized clinics for traumatized refugees. Methods: The level of psychiatric disability in traumatized refugees from Danish specialized clinics (N = 448) is documented using routine monitoring data from pre-and post-treatment on the Health of Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS). Furthermore, the HoNOS ratings are compared with routine monitoring data from Danish inpatients with different diagnoses (N = 10.911). Results: The routinely collected data indicated that despite their outpatient status, traumatized refugees had higher levels of psychiatric disability at pre-treatment compared to most inpatients. Moreover, the traumatized refugees had a HoNOS profile characterized by an overall high problem level in various psychiatric and social domains. The rate of pre-to post-treatment improvement on the HoNOS was smaller for the traumatized refugees than it was for the psychiatric inpatients. Conclusions: The level, and the versatile profile, of psychiatric disability on the HoNOS point to complex bio-psycho-social problems in resettled treatment seeking traumatized refugees. Thus, a broader assessment of symptoms and better cooperation between psychiatric, health care, and social systems is necessary in order to meet the treatment needs of this group.
TidsskriftB M C Psychiatry
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2014