Study goals and benefits

There are several difficulties in the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatment of refugees. There are difficulties in linguistic comprehension, but also culturally determined differences in the concept of illness between patients and therapists as well as culturally specific patterns of expression of psychological distress. An appropriate, culturally sensitive recording of psychological distress or disorders is of great importance - especially for the care of refugees - in order to prevent false diagnoses or an underestimation of the severity of symptoms.

The basic requirements for an appropriate assessment of psychological distress of refugees is the cultural sensitivity of the survey method (interviews, self- and external assessment instruments).

The subproject aims to develop a modular screening tool for common mental disorders as well as risk and protective factors in refugee populations. Furthermore, we want to consider different countries of origin in culturally sensitive psychometric testing and provide the instruments in their native languages. The following objectives are pursued within the framework of the presented project:

  • Development and validation of a diagnostic tool for treatment needs and requirements of mentally burdened refugees
  • Evaluation and open-access provision of a modular diagnostic tool for use in psychotherapeutic/psychosocial settings
  • Provision of background information on diagnostics in a cultural context



Prof. Dr. Heide Glaesmer & Dr. Elisa Haase
Universität Leipzig – Medizinische Fakultät