Prevalence of depression and associated factors among Somali refugee at Melkadida camp, Southeast Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC psychiatry, 2015, 15, (1), pp. 171
Issue Date:
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Psychological distress, psychosomatic complaints and clinical mental disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are highly prevalent among refugees than other populations. Even though there were several studies done on mental health of refugees globally, there is very few in Ethiopia regarding the mental health of these vulnerable populations. Thus we aimed at determining the prevalence of depression and identifying determinants of depression among refugees.


A community based cross-sectional multistage survey with 847 adult refugees was conducted in May 2014 at Melkadida camp, Southeast Ethiopia. Data were collected by face to face interviews on socio demographic by using structured questionnaire, level of exposure to trauma by Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and depression symptoms by using Patient Health Questionnaire. Data entry and clearance were carried out by EpInfo version 7 and analysis was carried out by Statistical Package for Social Sciences version-20 software package. Data was examined using descriptive statistics and logistic regression, odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals.


Over one third (38.3 %) of respondents met the symptoms criteria for depression. Gender, marital status, displaced previously as refugee, witnessing murderer of family or friend, lack of house or shelter and being exposed to increased number of cumulative traumatic events were significantly associated with depression among Somali refugees in Melkadida camp.


The study revealed a relatively high prevalence of depression episode among refugees. Being female, divorced, deprived of shelter and witnessing the murder of family are most determinants of depression in refugees. Strengthening the clinical set up and establishing good referral linkage with mental health institutions is strongly recommended.
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