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Title: Psychological distress of asylum seekers in immigration detention
Author: Robjant, Katy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2667 6295
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2007
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Objective; To compare depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms amongst asylum seekers living in four immigration removal centres (IRCs) with a comparison group of asylum seekers living within the community. Method: Participants were from 43 different countries and comprised detained asylum seekers (n=67), detainees who were previously imprisoned in the UK (n=30), and a community sample of asylum seekers (n=49). Participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Impact of Events Scale Revised (IES-R) and the Post Traumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI). Demographic information and information relating to previous trauma exposure was also collected. Results: High rates of anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms were reported by all three groups. Detained asylum seekers had significantly higher scores on all three measures compared with asylum seekers living within the community. A substantial number of individuals in detention had clinically significant scores. Detention experience was the highest predictor of anxiety and depression, and was the second most significant predictor of PTSD symptoms after exposure to interpersonal trauma. Individuals who had experienced interpersonal trauma and were in detention for over one month had higher levels of depression and anxiety than those who had been detained for less than one month. Conclusion: Individuals detained in IRCs are highly vulnerable to psychological distress. The findings from this study suggest that immigration detention may be a risk factor in itself for anxiety, depression and PTSD. Further research into the impact of immigration detention on mental health is needed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available