New study: 90% of Syrian refugees in Norway have experienced life-threatening situations

RefugeesPhoto: Ann Fredriksen / NTB
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Up to 90% of Syrian refugees in Norway have experienced a life-threatening situation in the time before or during their flight from the country, a new report shows.

The first national study of the mental health and quality of life of Syrian refugees in Norway shows that approximately 40% of the refugees experienced five or more potentially traumatic events before their flight from the country.

Furthermore, more than 95% reported that they had experienced war up close, and almost 90% were in danger of death before or during the flight.

Problems upon arrival in Norway

In the study, the respondents were also asked about various conditions they experienced as stressful after coming to Norway.

The most common form of stress experienced by refugees often or very often after arrival was sadness about not being reunited with family members (51.3%).

Almost as many (43.7%) experienced frustration at not being able to use their expertise, 10.5% experienced stress factors related to finances, while 5.1% had a feeling of being disrespected.

New knowledge about health, quality of life, and integration

The report has been prepared by the National Knowledge Center on Violence and Traumatic Stress (NKVTS). 

The aim of the study is to gain more knowledge about refugees’ health and quality of life after the war, flight, and settlement in a new country.

“The REFUGE study is a nationwide refugee study that will give us new knowledge about health, quality of life, and integration among refugees in Norway over time, and is thus unique,” project manager and researcher Arnfinn J. Andersen at NKVTS noted.

A total of 900 Syrians who came to Norway between 2015 and 2017 have participated in the study. 

The study is planned to run over several years and is carried out in collaboration with the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the Red Cross University in Sweden.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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