Event Title

The Impact of Trauma and PTSD on Aging Refugees in the United States: A Review of the Literature

Location

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

Start Date

10-4-2012 3:30 PM

Description

Background and Purpose: Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental and physical health. As large numbers of refugees presenting with past trauma and chronic or acute PTSD are been resettled within Michigan and the United States in general, health professionals will be confronted with treating these individuals. In order to be effective practitioners, collaboration between medical health and mental health professions is essential to understand the refugee from a culturally competent perspective. Methods: Using a biopsychosocial approach, a review of current research on the impact of PTSD and trauma on aging was conducted to determine relevancy with emerging trends. Impact and Implications: Available research supports the theory that trauma and PTSD do, in fact, have a significant impact on the aging process of refugees, with negative impact on significant biological, psychological, and social functions of aging refugees. There appears to be a general accelerated aging process that occurs in refugees with significant trauma background. Conclusions: Trauma and PTSD have a significant impact on the aging process in refugees, affecting biological, psychological, and social well-being. Collaboration among mental and medical health professionals is highly recommended as some negative effects of PTSD manifest in physical symptoms. Effective treatment also requires a culturally competent perspective.

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Apr 10th, 3:30 PM

The Impact of Trauma and PTSD on Aging Refugees in the United States: A Review of the Literature

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

Background and Purpose: Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental and physical health. As large numbers of refugees presenting with past trauma and chronic or acute PTSD are been resettled within Michigan and the United States in general, health professionals will be confronted with treating these individuals. In order to be effective practitioners, collaboration between medical health and mental health professions is essential to understand the refugee from a culturally competent perspective. Methods: Using a biopsychosocial approach, a review of current research on the impact of PTSD and trauma on aging was conducted to determine relevancy with emerging trends. Impact and Implications: Available research supports the theory that trauma and PTSD do, in fact, have a significant impact on the aging process of refugees, with negative impact on significant biological, psychological, and social functions of aging refugees. There appears to be a general accelerated aging process that occurs in refugees with significant trauma background. Conclusions: Trauma and PTSD have a significant impact on the aging process in refugees, affecting biological, psychological, and social well-being. Collaboration among mental and medical health professionals is highly recommended as some negative effects of PTSD manifest in physical symptoms. Effective treatment also requires a culturally competent perspective.