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Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease:
Original Articles

Determinants of Depression Among Ethiopian Immigrants and Refugees in Toronto

Fenta, Haile PhD*†; Hyman, Ilene PhD‡§; Noh, Samuel PhD*†

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence of and risk factors for depressive disorder in a random sample of 342 Ethiopian immigrants and refugees in Toronto. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview questionnaire was used to measure depression. The results suggested a lifetime prevalence of depression among Ethiopian immigrants and refugees of 9.8%, which was slightly higher than the lifetime prevalence rate in the Ontario population (7.3%). However, the rate among Ethiopian immigrants and refugees was approximately three times higher than the rate estimated for Southern Ethiopia (3.2%). The data confirmed the significance of known risk factors for depression in immigrants, including younger age, experiences of premigration trauma, refugee camp internment, and postmigration stressful events. The implication of the overall finding is that there is a need to develop mental health intervention programs, particularly for people who have experienced premigration trauma, refugee camp internment, and postmigration stresses.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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