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Aim of the study: To investigate the relationship between (i) khat use and (ii) traumatic events, with measures of common psychotic symptoms and symptoms of anxiety and depression. To undertake this work in a Somali population of emigrants who have sought asylum in a non-conflict zone country. Materials and methods: A secondary analysis of data on a population sample of 180 Somali men and women. Results: Frequency of khat use was not associated with common psychotic symptoms or with symptoms of anxiety and depression, nor with traumatic events in this population. Traumatic events were related to low levels of psychotic symptoms and high levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression. Conclusions: Khat use is not inevitably linked to psychotic symptoms in population samples of Somali men and women. The contrasts between these findings and those from studies in conflict zones and studies of people with mental health problems using khat suggest further investigations are necessary. These should take into account environmental and physiological interactions. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Ethnopharmacology

Publication Date





549 - 553