Prevalence in refugees and asylum seekers

What is prevalence of PTSD in refugees and asylum seekers?

Prevalence represents the overall proportion of individuals in a population who have the disorder of interest. It is different from incidence, which represents only the new cases that have developed over a particular time period. Point prevalence is the proportion of individuals who have the disorder at a given point in time. Period prevalence is the proportion of individuals who have the disorder over specific time periods. Lifetime prevalence is the proportion of individuals who have ever had the disorder. Lifetime morbid risk also includes those who had the disorder but were deceased at the time of the survey.

What is the evidence for the prevalence of PTSD in refugees and asylum seekers?

Moderate to high quality evidence finds the prevalence of PTSD in war-affected refugees and citizens is 31%. Rates were highest in those exposed to recent conflict. They were also highest in those exposed to torture, to more traumatic events, and to political terrorism. They were highest in people from Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Africa.

Moderate quality evidence finds the prevalence of PTSD in adult Syrian refugees living in Western or Middle Eastern countries is 43%. The prevalence of PTSD in Iraqi refugees living in Western countries is up to 37%.

Moderate quality evidence finds the prevalence of PTSD in child and adolescent refugees is around 23%. Rates were highest in those displaced for less than two years and in those with an insecure visa status.

August 2021

Image: ©route55 – stock.adobe.com

Last updated at: 3:32 am, 8th October 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.