Follow-up study of the treatment outcomes at a psychiatric trauma clinic for refugees


  • Cæcilie Buhmann Competence Center for Transcultural Psychiatry (CTP), Psychiatric Center Ballerup, the Mental Health Services of the Capital Region of Denmark
  • Erik Lykke Mortensen Institute for Public Health, University of Copenhagen
  • Merete Nordentoft Psychiatric Center Copenhagen, the Mental Health Services of the Capital Region of Denmark
  • Jasmina Ryberg Competence Center for Transcultural Psychiatry (CTP), Psychiatric Center Ballerup, the Mental Health Services of the Capital Region of Denmark
  • Morten Ekstrøm Competence Center for Transcultural Psychiatry (CTP), Psychiatric Center Ballerup, the Mental Health Services of the Capital Region of Denmark



refugee, trauma, CBT, antidepressants, PTSD, treatment outcome


Purpose: To describe change in mental health after treatment with antidepressants and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.

Methods: Patients receiving treatment at the Psychiatric Trauma Clinic for Refugees in Copenhagen completed self-ratings of level of functioning, quality of life, and symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety before and after treatment. Changes in mental state and predictors of change were evaluated in a sample that all received well-described and comparable treatment.

Results: 85 patients with PTSD or depression were included in the analysis. Significant improvement and effect size were observed on all rating scales (p-value <0.01 and Cohen’s d 45-0.68). Correlation analysis showed no association between severity of symptoms at baseline and the observed change.

Conclusion: Despite methodological limitations, the finding of a significant improvement on all rating scales is important considering that previous follow-up studies of comparable patient populations have not found significant change in the patients’ condition after treatment.


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How to Cite

Buhmann, C., Mortensen, E. L., Nordentoft, M., Ryberg, J., & Ekstrøm, M. (2018). Follow-up study of the treatment outcomes at a psychiatric trauma clinic for refugees. Torture Journal, 25(1), 16.