Our research

​​​​​​​The aim of the research environment REMAIN is to gain knowledge on strategies to improve the social integration of refugee minors/youth with mental ill-health. Both ethiologic, prognostic, intervention and treatment studies are included.

REMAIN is structured in three work packages (WP) which deal with: the effect of parental trauma in refugees on their children’s mental and social situation (WP1); the future health and social development in refugee minors with mental ill-health (WP2) and a novel intervention and pharmacological treatment of mental ill-health in refugee minors (WP3).

More specifically, in work package 1 we will study how mental ill-health in parents who are refugees influence their children’s mental health and school performance. We are also interested in how parental socio-economic status, child’s own refugee status, parental social integration and the area of living affect these associations.

In work package 2 we are interested in identifying different patterns of specific common mental disorders among refugee minors and whether these patterns predict poor social integration and adverse mental health development. We will also study e.g. the role of comorbidity, health care use patterns, length of stay in the host country and educational attainment etc. in these associations. These patterns will be compared between refugee minors/youth resettling in Sweden and in Denmark.

In work-package 3 we will study novel intervention solutions (such as the Problem management plus (PM+) and whether they improve mental health and social integration in refugee minors. We are also interested in studying whether antidepressant treatment differ between refugee minors/youth with common mental disorders compared to native youth in Sweden with the same disorders and to compare the effectiveness of different types of antidepressants.

We will use large register data to perform the different studies and will also do cross-national comparisons. Through this integrated approach and methodological innovations, REMAIN will contribute with crucial knowledge to guide the translation of successful policies and practices to improve social integration and mental health in refugee minors.

REMAIN started in 2019.


  1. Alozkan Sever C, Cuijpers P, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Bryant R.A, Dawson K.S, Holmes E.A, Mooren T, Norredam M.L, Sijbrandij M. Feasibility and acceptability of Problem Management Plus with Emotional Processing (PM+EP) for refugee youth living in the Netherlands: study protocol. European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2021; 12:1,1947003.
  2. Alozkan-Sever C, Uppendahl J R, Cuijpers P, de Vries R, Rahman A, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Akhtar A, Zheng Z, Sijbrandij M. Research review: Psychological and psychosocial interventions for children and adoloscents with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder in low- and middle-income countries – A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2023; 64(12):1776-1788
  3. Amin R, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Undem K, Mehlum IS, Hasting RL. Does country of resettlement influence the risk of labor market marginalization among refugees? A cohort study in Sweden and Norway. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 2024. Published online 25 March. Doi:10.5271/sjweh.4154
  4. Amin R, Rahman S, Dorner TE, Björkenstam E, Helgesson M, Norredam ML, Sijbrandij M, Alozkan Sever C, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Country of birth, time period of resettlement and subsequent treated common mental disorders in young refugees in Sweden. European Journal of Public Health 2020; 30(6):1169-1175.
  5. Berg L, Brendler-Lindquist M, de Montgomery E, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Hjern A. Parental posttraumatic stress and school perfomance in refugee children. Journal of Traumatic Stress 2021. Epublished online 18 July. Doi: 10.1002/jts.22708
  6. Berg L, de Montgomery E, Brendler-Lindquist M, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Hjern A. Parental post-traumatic stress and psychiatric care utilisation among refugee adolescents. European Child & Adoloscent Psychiatry 2022; 31(12):1953-1962
  7. Björkenstam E, Helgesson M, Norredam M, Sijbrandij M, de Montgomery CJ, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Common mental disorders among young refugees in Sweden: The role of education and duration of residency. Journal of Affective Disorders 2020; 266:563-571.
  8. Björkestam E, Helgesson M, Norredam M, Sijbrandij M, de Montgomery CJ, Mittedorfer-Rutz E. Differences in psychiatric care utilization between refugees, non-refugees and Swedish-born youth. Psychological Medicine 2020; 1-11. doi:10.1017/S0033291720003190
  9. Chen J, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Berg L, Norredam M, Sijbrandij M, Klimek P. Associations between multimorbidity patterns and subsequent labor market marginalization among refugees and Swedish-born young adults – A nationwide register-based cohort study. Journal of Personalized Medicine 2021, 11, 1305.
  10. Chen J, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Berg L, Norredam M, Sijbrandij M, Klimek P. Association of common mental disorders and related multimorbidity with subsequent labor market marginalization among refugee and Swedish-born young adults. Frontiers in Public Health 2023; 11:1054261
  11. Chen J, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Taipale H, Rahman S, Niederkrotenthaler T, Klimek P. Association of medication clusters and subsequent labor market marginalisation in refugee and Swedish born young adults with common mental disorders in Sweden. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2023. Published online 28 April. Doi:10.1007/s00787-023-02214-8
  12. Cullen AE, de Montgomery CJ, Norredam M, Bergström J, Krasnik A, Taipale H, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Comparison of Hospitalization for Nonaffective Psychotic Disorders Among Refugee, Migrant, and Native-Born Adults in Sweden and Denmark. JAMA Network Open 2023; 6(10):e2336848.
  13. de Montgomery CJ, Norredam M, Krasnik A, Petersen JH, Björkenstam E, Berg L, Hjern A, Sijbrandij M, Klimek P, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Labour market marginalisation in young refugees and their majority peers in Denmark and Sweden: The role of common mental disorders and secondary school completion. PloS One 2022; 17(2):e0263450.
  14. De Montgomery C J, Cullen A E, Taipale H, Krasnik A, Norredam M, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Incidence of non-affective psychotic disorders in refugees and peers growing up in Denmark and Sweden: A registry linkage study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2023. Published online ahead of print 2 November. Doi: 10.1007/s00127-023-02578-x
  15. Di Thiene D, Helgesson M, Rahman S, Alexanderson K, Tiihonen J, La Torre G, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Risk of labour market marginalisation among young refugees and non-refugee migrants with common mental disorders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. Published online 20 January 2021. doi:10. 1007/s00127-020-02022-4
  16. Geirsdottir G, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Amin R. Risk of suicide attempt and suicide in young adult refugees compared to their Swedish-born peers: a register-based cohort study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-021-02099-5
  17. Geirsdottir G, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Björkenstam E, Chen L, Dorner T E, Amin R. Differences in labour market marginalisation between refugees, non-refugee immigrants and Swedish-born youth: Role of age at arrival and residence duration. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 2022. Published online 27 March. Doi:10.1177/14034948221079060
  18. Mastafa S, de Montgomery C J, Pettersson E, Norredam M, Krasnik A, Taipale H, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Cullen A E. Risk of unemployment and work disability among refugee and non-refugee migrants with incident psychotic disorders in Sweden and Denmark. European Journal of Public Health 2023, ckad207. Doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckad207
  19. Rahman S, Filatova S, Chen L, Björkenstam E, Taipale H, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Trajectories of antidepressant use and characteristics associated with trajectory groups among young refugees and their Swedish-born peers with diagnosed common mental disorders – findings from the REMAIN study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2021. Doi:10.1007/s00127-021-02139-0
  20. Spaton Goppers J, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Cullen A E, Jamil de Montgomery C, Tanskanen A, Norredam M, Taipale H. Antipsychotic treatment patterns in refugees and their Swedish-born peers with first-episode non-affective psychosis: Findings from the REMAIN study. BJPsych Open 2023; 9(3):e57
  21. Stratmann M, Björkenstam E, Dorner T E, Chen L, Helgesson M, Cullen A E, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Differences in all-cause and cause-specific mortality due to external causes and suicide between young adult refugees, non-refugee immigrants and Swedish-born young adults: The role of education and migration-related factors. Plos One 2022; 17(12):e0279096
  22. Taipale H, Niederkrotenthaler T, Helgesson M, Sijbrandij M, Berg L, Tanskanen A, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Initiation of antidepressant use among refugee and Swedish-born youth after diagnosis of a common mental disorder – findings from the REMAIN study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2021; 56(3):463-474.
  23. Taipale H, Niederkrothenthaler T, Tanskanen A, Cullen A.E, Helgesson M, Berg L, Sijbrandij M, Klimek P, Mittendorfer-Rutz E. Persistence of antidepressant use among refugee youth with common mental disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders 2021; 294:831-837.
  24. Uppendahl, J., Alozkan-Sever, C., Cuijpers, P., de Vries, R., & Sijbrandij, M. Psychological and Psychosocial Interventions for PTSD, Depression and Anxiety Among Children and Adolescents in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Psychiatry 2020. Published online 18 February.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00933
  25. Yang L, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Amin R, Helgesson M. Risk factors for common mental disorders in young refugees from Iran, Somalia and Syria to Sweden. Journal of Public Health 2023; fdad034. Published online 12 April. Doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdad034
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