Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Refugees--Mental health--Bosnia and Herzegovina; Refugees--Mental health--Iowa--Waterloo; Refugees--Mental health services;


The purpose of this study was to develop rapid assessment protocols to evaluate the prevalence of common symptoms of clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in the adult Bosnian refugee population in Waterloo, Iowa.

An extensive literature review was conducted to research (a) refugeeism around the world, (b) causes of refugeeism, (c) the refugee experience, (d) refugee health challenges, (e) post-traumatic stress disorder in refugees, (t) depression in refugees, (g) acculturation stress in refugees, (h) rapid assessment procedures in public health, (i) rapid mental health assessments, (j) the case of refugeeism in the former Yugoslavia, (k) the history of refugeeism in the United States, (l) refugee resettlement in Iowa, (m) Bosnian refugees in Waterloo, Iowa, and (n) the need for rapid mental health assessment with Bosnians in Waterloo, Iowa.

The result was a 34-item questionnaire and protocols for its administration. Rapid assessment procedures for evaluating mental health for the adult Bosnian refugee population in Waterloo, Iowa, will be beneficial in a variety of ways. First, the Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center, Inc. which is responsible for mental health care for this population needs to have prevalence data in order to better serve the population. Based on this information, the Center could add staff, facilities, or resources to accommodate needs. Also, baseline information is important to document needs in order to secure outside funding.

Secondly, the rapid assessment of mental health problems is beneficial to the Bosnian population. Those who are suffering from mental illness and at this time are untreated or undiagnosed will not adapt to their new community as quickly or successfully as they could. The family of an afflicted person is also under added stress.

Third, this is an opportunity for the Black Hawk County Health Department to lead the way among small communities with large Bosnian refugee influxes. Currently, there is a lack of information available in the English language on the topic of rapid mental health assessment. This allows the Black Hawk County Health Department to serve as a model to the state, nation, and possibly the world as a testing ground for rapid mental health assessments. This quick and program-based information will allow for planning and growth opportunities for the future of the Black Hawk County refugee program.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Michele Yehieli, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (v, 74 pages)



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