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Dr Mina Fazel writes for 'The Mental Elf' in response to a new paper published in the BMJ.

Blog increased vulnerability of migrants non affective psychosis in sweden

 

The current global refugee crisis with large numbers arriving in the same time frame, and from a similar region to a range of high and low-income contexts gives an opportunity to conduct a definitive study on the post-migration influence on diaspora. This will help us unpick the specific risk that being a 'refugee' might have and better enable us to understand the differential effect of post-migration environments. Dr Mina Fazel

 

'The relationship of migration to non-affective, schizophrenia-like psychosis has been a key question in epidemiological studies of mental illness. Migrants have higher rates of non-affective psychosis but the causes are complex and include both push factors (making it more likely for someone developing a paranoid illness to choose to leave their country of origin) and also post-migration factors that might include social isolation, stigma and a range of other psychosocial stressors.

'A new study published today in the BMJ sought to clarify the relationship further by comparing rates of non-affective psychosis in the Swedish population by comparing native-born Swedes (88.4% of sample) to refugee (1.8%) and non-refugee migrants (9.8%) coming from 4 different parts of the world. The Swedish population database gives a unique opportunity to gather information on large numbers.

'Existing studies on forced/refugee migrant populations have highlighted the increased prevalence of depressive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.'

 

Read the full blog post on The Mental Elf

Read more about Dr Mina Fazel.

Read comment from Dr Mina Fazel in Scientific American: 'Refugees Suffer a Higher Rate of Psychotic Disorders'.