August 1979

Adaptational Problems of Vietnamese RefugeesI. Health and Mental Health Status

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(9):955-961. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780090041005

• The forced migratory influx of Vietnamese to the United States has raised questions regarding the resettlement process, the effect of culture shock, the refugees' coping behavior and adaptabilities, and their health and mental health status. We report the two-year results of ongoing research on the Vietnamese refugees based on the use of the Cornell Medical Index (CMI). The responses on the CMI on the first (1975) and second (1976) administrations indicate a high and continuing level of physical and mental dysfunction. The second administration also revealed significant shifts in dysfunctions as well as exposing factors that related to these dysfunctions, ie, age/sex interactions, marital status, family groupings, and public assistance. The follow-up CMI also showed an increase in anger and hostility with concomitant reductions in feelings of inadequacy.