Major Depression Prevalence Among Syrian Migrants Seeking Asylum in Greece: a Cross-Sectional Survey

Poole, D. et al.
Publication language
Date published
15 Mar 2018
Psychosocial support, Forced displacement and migration, Host Communities
Syria, Greece
The Lancet

Background: Since the start of the Syrian war in 2011, 250 000 Syrians have sought asylum in Greece, and more than 1 million people have attempted to reach other countries in the European Union by travel through Greece. Migrants face a myriad of poor mental health outcomes, including major depression requiring treatment. However, the prevalence of major depression among Syrians undergoing the asylum process—a potential window for intervention—has not been reported. This study quantified the prevalence of major depression among Syrian migrants in a refugee camp setting.

Methods: We did a cross-sectional survey via face-to-face interviews in a Syrian refugee camp in Greece from January 16–31, 2017. Individuals aged 18 years or older, residing in the refugee camp, and with verbal Arabic or English language skills were eligible to participate. The Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8) was used to evaluate depression. Sociodemographic and displacement data were collected using a standardised instrument. The study was approved by the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health (Protocol IRB16-2015) and all participants provided oral informed consent.