Irene Felsman, assistant professor; and Janice Humphreys, professor; recently published an article entitled "Measuring Distress Levels of Refugee Women to Enhance Community-Based Psycho-social Interventions" in Issues in Mental Health Nursing. Rebecca Kronk, of Duquesne University School of Nursing, was co-author of this article.
The purpose of this investigation was to gain an understanding of the levels of distress in resettled refugee women as a basis for the development of improved community based interventions to enhance the resettlement experience. A convenience sample of female refugees (n = 23) in a southern US city were interviewed using a socio-demographic questionnaire; the Refugee Health Screener-15 (RHS-15); and semi-structured, exploratory questions. Results showed consistently high levels of distress, indicated by responses to the RHS-15. Women ages 19–25 and over 50 displayed the highest risk. Categories of stressors included a lack of access to health and psycho-social support services, difficulty with communicating in the English language, and social isolation. In addition, women reported that a lack of trained interpreters contributes to reduced access to health and social service, causing further distress.