Medical approach to the management of traumatized refugees

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Refugees are a highly traumatized and culturally diverse group of patients who present many clinical challenges. Refugees have a high prevalence of traumas from torture, ethnic cleansing, and the effects of long civil wars. The most common diagnoses associated with the effects of such traumas are posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or PTSD with comorbid depression; however, psychosis and neurocognitive disorders are also common. For those with PTSD, a suggested treatment approach is long-term supportive psychotherapy with drug treatment directed at reducing the most disruptive symptoms, such as insomnia, nightmares, and irritability or psychosis. The author recommends a sedative tricyclic antidepressant, clonidine or prazosin, and aripiprazole as a useful combination of medications to provide rapid relief. In addition to PTSD, long-term studies indicate a high prevalence of diabetes and hypertension in traumatized refugees. It is therefore important to perform a thorough evaluation for these disorders that includes the measurement of blood pressure and a blood test for diabetes. When managed with such a medical approach, refugees are generally accepting of psychiatric treatment and can obtain relief from the symptoms associated with the massive trauma and losses they have experienced.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)76-83
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Psychiatric Practice
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    Refugees
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
    Psychotic Disorders
    Wounds and Injuries
    Torture
    Tricyclic Antidepressive Agents
    Prazosin
    Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
    Clonidine
    Hematologic Tests
    Hypnotics and Sedatives
    Psychotherapy
    Psychiatry
    Therapeutics
    Depression
    Blood Pressure
    Hypertension
    Pharmaceutical Preparations

    Keywords

    • depression
    • diabetes
    • hypertension
    • medical care
    • posttraumatic stress disorder
    • refugees
    • trauma

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychiatry and Mental health

    Cite this

    Medical approach to the management of traumatized refugees. / Kinzie, John (Dave).

    In: Journal of Psychiatric Practice, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2016, p. 76-83.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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