The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder and its clinical significance among Southeast Asian refugees

Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Jul;147(7):913-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.147.7.913.


All 322 patients at a psychiatric clinic for Indochinese refugees were surveyed to determine the presence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If PTSD was not diagnosed at the time of initial evaluation, a structured reinterview was performed. Seventy percent of the patients (N = 226) met the criteria for a current diagnosis of PTSD, and an additional 5% (N = 15) met the criteria for a past diagnosis. The Mein had the highest rate of PTSD (93%) and the Vietnamese the lowest (54%). Of the patients with PTSD who were enrolled in the clinic before March 1988, 46% (N = 87) were given a diagnosis of PTSD only after the reinterview. PTSD is a common disorder among Indochinese refugees, but the diagnosis is often difficult to make.

MeSH terms

  • Asia, Southeastern / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Oregon / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Refugees / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / ethnology