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Review
, 103 (3), e30-42

Asylum Seekers, Violence and Health: A Systematic Review of Research in High-Income Host Countries

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Review

Asylum Seekers, Violence and Health: A Systematic Review of Research in High-Income Host Countries

Anne Kalt et al. Am J Public Health.

Abstract

We performed a systematic review of literature on violence and related health concerns among asylum seekers in high-income host countries. We extracted data from 23 peer-reviewed studies. Prevalence of torture, variably defined, was above 30% across all studies. Torture history in clinic populations correlated with hunger and posttraumatic stress disorder, although in small, nonrepresentative samples. One study observed that previous exposure to interpersonal violence interacted with longer immigration detention periods, resulting in higher depression scores. Limited evidence suggests that asylum seekers frequently experience violence and health problems, but large-scale studies are needed to inform policies and services for this vulnerable group often at the center of political debate.

Figures

FIGURE 1—
FIGURE 1—
Article search and screening process for asylum seekers' exposure to violence and its health effects.

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