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Social support attenuates the link between torture exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder among male and female Syrian refugees in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Research group (Dept. of women´s and children´s health), Clinical Psychology in Healthcare. Department of Health Sciences, The Swedish Red Cross University College.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5837-8263
Department of Health Sciences, The Swedish Red Cross University College; Division of Insurance Medicine, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.
Department of Health Sciences, The Swedish Red Cross University College; Division of Insurance Medicine, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.
2019 (English)In: BMC International Health and Human Rights, ISSN 1472-698X, E-ISSN 1472-698X, Vol. 19, no 1, article id 28Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this study is threefold: (i) to establish the psychometric properties and gender invariance of ENRICHD Social Support Inventory (ESSI), which was used for the first time in the present study in the population of Syrian refugees resettled in Sweden; (ii) to assess whether gender moderates the associations between social support, exposure to torture and PTSD; (iii) to assess whether social support mediates the association between exposure to torture and PTSD, and whether this mediation is in turn moderated by gender.

METHODS:

Data from a cross-sectional and population-based study of a random sample of Syrian refugees (n = 1215) resettled in Sweden 2011-2013 was analyzed within a Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) framework.

RESULTS:

Our results indicate adequate fit and gender invariance for a unidimensional model of ESSI. Exposure to torture was associated with lower social support (B = -0.22, p < 0.01) and with higher odds ratio (OR) for PTSD (OR 2.52, 95% Confidence interval (CI) 1.83-3.40). Furthermore, higher social support was associated with less likelihood for PTSD (B = -0.56, p < 0.001). Social support partially mediated the effect of torture exposure on PTSD (OR 1.13, 95% bias corrected bootstrap CI 1.06-1.26). Gender did not moderate this pattern.

CONCLUSION:

The results indicate that social support attenuates the link between torture exposure and PTSD, and may function as a protective factor for PTSD among both torture-exposed refugee men and women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 19, no 1, article id 28
Keywords [en]
Gender, Post-traumatic stress disorders, Protective factors, Refugees, Social support, Torture
National Category
Psychology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Psychology; International Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-393942DOI: 10.1186/s12914-019-0214-6ISI: 000484561800001PubMedID: 31488136OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-393942DiVA, id: diva2:1355612
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2016–07194Swedish Red CrossAvailable from: 2019-09-30 Created: 2019-09-30 Last updated: 2019-12-09Bibliographically approved

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