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Posttraumatic Stress and Depression Among Syrian Refugees Living in Turkey

Findings From an Urban Sample

Kaya, Edip MSc*; Kiliç, Cengiz MD, PhD†,‡; Karadağ Çaman, Özge MD, PhD*; Üner, Sarp MD, PhD*

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: December 2019 - Volume 207 - Issue 12 - p 995–1000
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001104
Original Articles

Although most of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey live outside refugee camps, most mental health research is on camp residents and few are on those living in cities. We aimed to assess the prevalence and predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in Syrian refugees living in an urban area in Turkey. A total of 420 adult Syrians living in Ankara were assessed using the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory. Probable PTSD and depression rates were 36.5% and 47.7%, respectively. Female sex, physical illness, and greater number of potentially traumatic events predicted both PTSD and depression. PTSD was additionally predicted by past psychiatric illness, and depression was predicted by lower economic status. Interestingly, lower economic status predicted depression among men, but not among women. Studies on refugees should be sensitive to factors that could have a significant effect on mental health such as sex or residence.

*Department of Public Health, Institute of Health Science

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine

Stress Assessment and Research Center (STAR), Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.

Send reprint requests to Cengiz Kiliç, MD, PhD, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, 06100 Ankara, Turkey. E-mail:

Online date: October 30, 2019

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