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Journal published by the Hellenic
Psychiatric Association


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Since 1989, Greece has accepted thousands of economic immigrants and more recently, since 2010, has been transformed to a host country for refugees mainly from countries at war. Refugees experience a number of serious traumas, i.e. death of family member or a close friend, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and at the same time have to confront poverty, hostility and racism during and after the settlement in the host country. On the other hand, economic immigrants have mainly to face adaption difficulties in a host country including racism, poverty, different culture, bureaucracy. The aim of the current retrospective study was to examine the differences in psychopathology between immigrants, refugees and natives. We examined differences in psychiatric diagnoses and factors influencing their health status between four groups: (i) 90 files of children whose families referred to the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (DeCAP), University of Athens, during 2005–2009, (ii) 216 files of children whose families seek for help during 2010–2014. Immigrants who referred to the DeCAP during the first period were mainly economic immigrants, whereas immigrants of the second period were mainly refugees from countries in conflict. These data were matched with age and sex with 151 files of natives who referred to the DeCAP during the aforementioned decade: (iii) 72 Greek families who seek for help during 2005–2009, and (iv) 79 Greek families who seek for help during 2010–2014. The Greek comparison group consisted of children and adolescents whose parents were both Greek. Investigating the differences in psychiatric diagnoses (F) and factors influencing health status (Z) between the groups, young refugees received a greater number of Z compared to Greeks (2010–2014). The proportion of refugees who had at least two Z was greater than that of immigrants and Greeks 2010–20014. Regarding the psychiatric diagnoses, Greek sample after 2010 received a greater proportion of psychiatric diagnoses than refugees. These results highlight that refugee families seek for help mainly not for psychiatric reasons. This could reflect their different needs or their difficulty to have access in public health services comparing to immigrants and natives.

Key words: Refugees, immigrants, Greeks, children, adolescents, psychopathology.

K. Triantafyllou, I. Othiti, G. Xylouris, V. Moulla, V. Ntre, P. Kovani, I. Gertsou, D. Anagnostopoulos (page 231)

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