Журнал психологии и психотерапии

Журнал психологии и психотерапии
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ISSN: 2161-0487


A Concept of Clinical Care for Refugees on a General Psychiatric Ward

Bernd Hanewald, Oliver Vogelbusch, Heathcote Astrid, Frank Stapf-Teichmann, Buelent Yazgan, Michael Knipper, Bernd Gallhofer and Markus Stingl

Refugees and asylums seekers can present as a highly vulnerable group with an increased risk for the development of mental disorders. We developed and established a concept of clinical psychiatric care for refugees on a general psychiatric ward that systematically takes into account the social, cultural and legal dimensions relevant for mental health of refugees. This concept presents a framework for treatment, which not only offers security and orientation for the patients but also for the treatment team. The present treatment guide should provide structured working in apparently hopeless situations, which due to language difficulties, trans-cultural features and serious diseases at least in the short term seem to be unchangeable. Due to the implementation of the treatment concept, from the perspective of the team, there is a noticeable relief and significant improvement concerning the interaction with refugees on the ward. We have experienced that handling patients according to this treatment concept has mutually influenced both, the treatment outcome of refugees as well as the clinical setting. It became possible not only to integrate refugees on a common psychiatric ward but opens the way for reciprocal exchange between treatment team, refugees and other patients in terms of acculturation. We expect that in the future the number of asylum seekers will remain high because of wars across the globe. Therefore, it can be assumed that there will be a need for differentiated and flexible treatment concepts for the inpatient treatment of refugees also in the future.