Mental health and resilience among Eritrean refugees at arrival and one-year post-registration in Switzerland: a cohort study

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Abstract

Objective: Eritrea is the most frequent country of origin among asylum seekers in Switzerland. On their journey through the desert and across the Mediterranean Sea, Eritrea refugees are often exposed to traumatizing experiences. The aim of this study is to assess the mental health status and resilience of Eritrean migrants in Switzerland upon arrival and one-year post-arrival, using standardized mental health screening and resilience assessment tools. Results: At baseline, 107 refugees (11.2% female, median age 25) were interviewed: 52 (48.6%) screened positive for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (score ≥ 30), 10.3% for anxiety (≥ 10) and 15.0% for depression (≥ 10); 17.8% scored as risk/hazardous drinkers (≥ 8). The majority (94.4%) had a high resilience score (≥ 65). For one-year follow-up, 48 asylum seekers could be reached. In interviews 18 (38%) of these reported imprisonment in a transit country and 28 (58%) that they had witnessed the death of a close person along the migration route. At the one year assessment, rates of risky/hazardous alcohol use remained unchanged, rates of positive PTSD screening tended to be lower (50.0% (24/48) at baseline vs 25.0% (12/48) at follow-up), as were rates of positive screening for anxiety (8.3% vs 4.2%) and depression (14.6 vs 6.3%).

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APA

Chernet, A., Probst-Hensch, N., Sydow, V., Paris, D. H., & Labhardt, N. D. (2021). Mental health and resilience among Eritrean refugees at arrival and one-year post-registration in Switzerland: a cohort study. BMC Research Notes, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-021-05695-5

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