Prevalence of depressive symptoms among established vietnamese refugees in the united states
- 81 Downloads
Objective: To determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms among Vietnamese refugees who have lived in the United States for at least two months.
Design: A prospective and descriptive study using the Vietnamese Depression Scale (VDS). Scores of ≥ 13 on the VDS were considered indicative of depression.
Setting: Ten public health clinics in four states.
Patients/participants: Four hundred seventy-six consecutive adult Vietnamese refugees presenting for primary care.
Interventions: The VDS, an 18-item culture-specific self-report measure, was used to screen for depressive symptoms.
Measurements and main results: Twenty percent of these patients had scores of 13 or above. Although being female; being older; being divorced, separated, or widowed; and being poorly educated were significant univariate risk factors for screening positive, only the latter two were significant in a multivariate model. Physical complaints were common and induced considerable anxiety about health status, but psychological and emotional symptoms were even more prevalent. Patients scoring 13 or higher had a higher rate of endorsement for every item in the scale than did those scoring lower than 13.
Conclusions: This study substantiates the feasibility and importance of screening for depressive symptoms among Vietnamese refugees, particularly in primary care settings where they are most likely to seek care for both medical and psychological problems.
Key wordsVietnamese refugees depression primary care screening prediction
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 5.Regier DA, Goldberg ID, Taube CA. The de facto US mental health services system. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;32:685–93.Google Scholar
- 6.Rumbaut RG. Mental Health and the refugee experience: a comparative study of Southeast Asian refugees. In: Owan TC, Bliatout B, Lin KM, Liu W, Nguyen TD, Wong HZ (eds). Southeast Asian mental health: treatment, prevention, services, training, and research. Bethesda, MD: DHHS Publication ADM, 85–1399, 1985.Google Scholar
- 7.Westermeyer J. Migration and psychopathology. In: Williams CL, Westermeyer J (eds). Refugee mental health in resettlement countries. Washington, DC: Hemisphere Publishing Co., 1986;39–59.Google Scholar
- 8.Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Office of Mental Health, Bureau of Research and Training. National mental health needs assessment of Indochinese refugee populations. Philadelphia: State of Pennsylvania, 1979.Google Scholar
- 9.Le DD. Vietnamese refugees’ perceptions and methods for coping with mental illness [doctoral dissertation]. San Diego, CA: United States International University, 1980.Google Scholar
- 13.Lin KM, Masuda M, Tazuma L. Adaptational problems of Vietnamese refugees. Part III. Case studies in clinic and field: adaptive and maladaptive. Psychiatr J Univ Ottawa. 1982;7:173–83.Google Scholar
- 14.Lin KM, Masuda M, Tazuma L. Adaptational problems of Vietnamese refugees. IV. Three year comparisons. Psychiatr J Univ Ottawa. 1984;9:79–84.Google Scholar
- 16.Celano M. Acculturation adjustment, and length of residence of Vietnamese refugees [doctoral dissertation]. College Park, MD: University of Maryland, 1986.Google Scholar
- 18.Jacobson ML, Crowson TW. Screening for depression in Hmong refugees. Minn Med. 1983;Sept:573–4.Google Scholar
- 19.Sughandabhiron B. Experiences in a first asylum country: Thailand. In: Williams CL, Westermeyer J (eds). Refugee mental health in resettlement countries. Washington, DC: Hemisphere Publishing Co., 1986;81–96.Google Scholar
- 20.Attkisson CC, Zich JM. Depression screening in primary care: clinical needs and research challenges. In: Attkisson CC, Zich JM (eds). Depression in primary care: screening and detection. New York: Routledge, 1990;3–11.Google Scholar
- 22.Roberts RE. Special population issues in screening for depression. In: Attkisson CC, Zich JM (eds). Depression in primary care: screening and detection. New York: Routledge, 1990;183–216.Google Scholar
- 27.Meinhardt K, Tom S, Tse P, Yu CY. Southeast Asian refugees in the “Silicon Valley”: the Asian health assessment project. Amerasia. 1985–86;12:43–65.Google Scholar
- 30.Chan KB, Lam L. Resettlement of Vietnamese — Chinese refugees in Montreal, Canada: some socio-psychological problems and dilemmas. Can Ethnic Stud/Etudes Ethniques au Canada. 1983;15:1–17.Google Scholar
- 31.Ruiz P. Cuban Americans. In: Gaw A (ed). Cross-cultural psychiatry. Boston: John Wright Publisher, 1982;77–86.Google Scholar
- 32.Nguyen SD. The psycho-social adjustment and the mental health needs of Southeast Asian refugees. Psychiatr J Univ Ottawa. 1982;7:26–34.Google Scholar
- 34.LaRue M. Stress and coping of the Indochinese refugees in a California community [doctoral dissertation]. San Diego, CA: United States International University, 1982.Google Scholar
- 36.Canadian Task Force on Mental Health Issues Affecting Immigrants and Refugees. After the door has been opened. Mental health issues affecting immigrants and refugees. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Health and Welfare Canada, 1988.Google Scholar
- 41.Westermeyer J. Indochinese refugees in community and clinic: a report from Asia and the United States. In: Williams CL, Westermeyer J (eds). Refugee mental health in resettlement countries. Washington, DC: Hemisphere Publishing Co., 1986;113–30.Google Scholar
- 42.Kinzie JD, Manson S. Five years’ experience with Indochinese refugee psychiatric patients. J Operat Psychiatry. 1983;14:105–11.Google Scholar