Jordan University of Science and Technology

Post-traumatic stress disorder among Syrian adolescent refugees in Jordan

Authors:  Othman Beni Yonis, Yousef Khader, Alaa Jarboua, Maariyha Majed Al-Bsoul,Nemeh Al-Akour, Mahmoud A. Alfaqih, Moawiah M. Khatatbeh, and Basil Amarneh

Objective: Studies among Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Germany showed high prevalence rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, data on PTSD among Syrian adolescent refugees in Jordan are scarce. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the prevalence and severity of PTSD, and its associated factors among Syrian schoolchildren refugees resettled in Jordan. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among Syrian schoolchildren refugees aged 12-18 years. A stratified cluster random sample was used to select male and female schoolchildren in four cities with the highest density of Syrian refugees. The Child Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Scale (CPSS) was used to measure PTSD severity. Results: The prevalence of moderate to severe PTSD among Syrian schoolchildren refugees in Jordan was 31%. This prevalence was higher in female adolescents compared with males (P = 0.001), and in children who had one or both parents died compared with those whose parents were living together (P = 0.006). The prevalence was lower in those living in Sahab city compared with Mafraq city (P = 0.006). Conclusion: PTSD is a common condition among Syrian adolescent refugees, especially among females, and those who lost one or both parents. Screening for PTSD and other mental health illnesses is highly recommended. Gender-specific psychosocial support and educational programs should be implemented.