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Complex post-traumatic stress disorder in asylum seekers and victims of trafficking

Dr Angeliki Argyriou
Sally Jowett, Odile Shcerrer, Thanos Karatzias, Cornelius Katona
BJPsych Open


Asylum-seekers experience high levels of traumatic events pre-, post- and during migration. Poly-traumatisation is associated with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD), which has not yet been extensively explored in this population. CPTSD is a prevalent and highly disabling disorder in the present population requiring culturally sensitive diagnostic and treatment approaches. In this service evaluation, we evidence the high prevalence of CPTSD in an asylum-seeking sample and its association with greater distress compared with PTSD. We outline the treatment needs of asylum seekers with CPTSD.