Since 2004, the members of our Lab have been coordinating and working as associates in various projects focused on the topic of migration and refugee, funded by the European Union, European Commission, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Health Organization (WHO), Open Society Foundation (OSF), Red Cross, International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Psychosocial Innovation Network (PIN).
In addition to articles and numerous research reports being published, these projects resulted in fruitful international cooperations which, among others, included University Medical Center – UMC, Utrecht, Netherlands, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London – QMW, London, United Kingdom, Psychiatric Clinic, Medical Faculty, University of Rijeka – MFR, Rijeka, Croatia, Specialization School of Psychiatry, University of Bari – DSNP, Bari, Italy, DAAD network Migration – Trauma in Transition, International Psychoanalytic University (Berlin), University od Denver (SAD), Duke University (SAD), University Constance, Queen Mary University of London, Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry.
These projects were aimed at understanding the biological basis of psychophysiological profiles of PTSD patients, developing and adapting instruments for assessment of traumatic experiences of refugees from Middle East and Africa (Purić & Vukčević, 2019; Vukčević, Momirović & Purić, 2016), assessing the frequency of these experiences in the countries of origin and transit (UNHCR, 2014), measuring effects of traumatic experiences and postmigration living difficulties on refugees’ mental health (Vukčević Marković, Živanović & Bjekić 2019), and exploring prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety among refugees and asylum seekers in Serbia (Bjekić, Vukćević Marković, Todorović, & Vračević, 2019). In addition, projects explored challenges within the asylum procedure and postmigration difficulties, coping mechanisms and resilience among refugees and asylum seekers in Serbia (Vukčević Marković, Stanković & Bjekić, 2018), as well as effects of psychosocial intervention on reduction of mental health difficulties.
Finally, these projects resulted not only in theoretical and scientific implications, but also affected wider societal matters, including the first evidence of torture in asylum centres along the Balkan route (UNHCR, 2014), the first international protection being granted in Serbia which relies on psychological assessment and recommendations on the psychological well-being in the reasoning for the positive decision, numerous trainings for legal representatives and asylum officers on possible effects of PTSD on deficits in memory and capacities for recalling and testifying during interviews and hearings. In addition, they resulted in creation of national and international strategic documents for improvement of protection of refugees’ mental health (IPU, 2018; WHO, 2019), as well as various funding opportunities for projects focused on provision of specialized care and treatment for traumatized refugees and the ones facing mental health difficulties.
Živanović, M., & Vukčević Marković, M. (2020). Latent structure of secondary traumatic stress, its precursors, and effects on people working with refugees. Plos one, 15(10), e0241545
Vukčević Marković, M., & Živanović, M. (2019). Secondary traumatisation in service providers working with refugees. In A. Hamburger, C. Hancheva, S. Ozcurumez, C. Scher, B. Stanković, & S. Tutnjević (Eds.), Forced Migration and Social Trauma (pp. 237-248). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Savic, D., Knezevic, G., Matic, G., & Damjanovic, S. (2018).PTSD and depressive symptoms are linked to DHEAS via personality. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 92, 29-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.03.017
Vukčević Marković, M., Momirović, J., & Purić, D. (2016). Adaptation of Harvard Trauma Questionnaire for working with refugees and asylum seekers in Serbia. Psihologija, 49(3), 277–299. doi: 10.2298/PSI1603277V [pdf]
Savić, D., Knežević, G., Matić, G., Damjanović, S. & Špirić, Z. (2015). Posttraumatic and depressive symptoms in β-endorphin dynamics. Journal of Affective Disorders, 181, 61–66. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.03.063
Savic, D., Knezevic, G., Damjanovic, S., Antic, J., & Matic, G. (2014). GR gene BclI polymorphysm changes the path, but not the level, of dexamethasone-induced cortisol suppression. Journal of affective disorders, 168, 1-4.
Matić, G., Milutinović, D. V., Nestorov, J., Elaković, I., Jovanović, S. M., Perišić, T., … & Vermetten, E. (2013). Lymphocyte glucocorticoid receptor expression level and hormone-binding properties differ between war trauma-exposed men with and without PTSD. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 43, 238-245. [pdf]
Savic, D., Knezevic, G., Damjanovic, S., Spiric, Z., & Matic, G. (2012). Is there a biological difference between trauma-related depression and PTSD? DST says ‘NO’. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37(9), 1516-1520. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.02.005
Opačić, G., Knežević, G., Jović, V. & Radović, B. (2010). Concomitants of Repatriation: The Case of Former Yugoslavia. In: H. C. Traue, R. Johler, and J. Jancovic Gavrilovic (Eds.), Migration, Integration, and Health: The Danube Region (pp. 83-97). D-49525 Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers. (ISBN 978-3-89967-641-9) [pdf]
Spiric, Z., Opacic, G., Jovic, V., Samardzic, R. Knezevic, G., Mandic-Gajic, G., Todorovic, M. (2010). Gender differences in victims of war torture: types of torture and psychological consequences. Vojnosanitetski pregled, 67, 411-418. [pdf]
Priebe, S., Jankovic Gavrilovic, J., Matanov, A., Franciskovic, T., Knezevic, G., Ljubotina, D., Bravo Mehmedbasic, A., & Schützwohl, M. (2010). Treatment Outcomes and Costs at Specialized Centers for the Treatment of PTSD After the War in Former Yugoslavia. Psychiatric Services, 61, 598-604. [pdf]
Priebe, S., Matanov, A., Jankovic-Gavrilovic, J., McCrone, P., Ljubotina, D., Knezevic, G., Kucukalic, A., Franciskovic, T., & Schuetzwohl, M. (2009). Consequences of Untreated Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Following War in Former Yugoslavia: Morbidity, Subjective Quality of Life, and Care Costs. Croatian Medical Journal, 50, 465-475.
Knežević, G., Opačić, G., Savić, D. & Priebe, S. (2005). Do personality traits predict post-traumatic stress? – a prospective study in civilians experiencing air attacks. Psychological Medicine, 35, 659-663. [pdf]
Jović, V., Opačić, G., Špeh-Vujadinović, S., Vidaković, I & Knežević, G. (2005). Izbeglice i mentalno zdravlje – implikacije za proces repatrijacije i integracije. U G. Opačić, I. Vidaković i B. Vujadinović (Eds.) Život u posleratnim zajednicama. (pp. 147-179). Beograd: IAN (Međunarodna mreža pomoći) (ISBN 86-83595-09-9).
Savić, D. (2004). About a Mathematical Model of the Psychobiology of Stress Reaction in Torture in war: Consequences and rehabilitation of victims – Yugoslav experience. In Ž. Špirić, G. Knežević, V. Jović, Opačić G. (Eds.). Torture in war: consequences and rehabilitation of victims, Yugoslav experience (pp. 177-185). Centar za rehabilitaciju žrtava torture, International Aid Network: Beograd. (ISBN 86-83595-08-0)
Knežević, G., Jović, V. (2004). SRD-10 – Short Scale for the Assessment of Stress-Related Dissociation Symptomatology. In Ž. Špirić, G. Knežević, V. Jović, Opačić G. (Eds.). Torture in war: consequences and rehabilitation of victims, Yugoslav experience. (pp. 195-207) Centar za rehabilitaciju žrtava torture, International Aid Network: Beograd. (ISBN 86-83595-08-0)
Špirić, Ž., Knežević, G. (2004). The Socio-demographic and Psychiatric Profiles of Clients in the Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims – IAN Belgrade. In Ž. Špirić, G. Knežević, V. Jović, Opačić G. (Eds.). Torture in war: consequences and rehabilitation of victims, Yugoslav experience. (pp. 121-152) Centar za rehabilitaciju žrtava torture, International Aid Network: Beograd. (ISBN 86-83595-08-0).
Knežević, G. (2004). Torture and Dissociation. In Ž. Špirić, G. Knežević, V. Jović, Opačić G. (Eds.). Torture in war: consequences and rehabilitation of victims, Yugoslav experience. (pp. 209-217) Centar za rehabilitaciju žrtava torture, International Aid Network: Beograd. (ISBN 86-83595-08-0)
Opačić, G., Knežević, G. (2004). Change in the Intensity and Frequency of Psychiatric Problems Related to Traumatic Experience after Three Months of Treatment. In Ž. Špirić, G. Knežević, V. Jović, Opačić G. (Eds.). Torture in war: consequences and rehabilitation of victims, Yugoslav experience. (pp. 221-232) Centar za rehabilitaciju žrtava torture, International Aid Network: Beograd. (ISBN 86-83595-08-0)
Gavrilović, J., Lečić-Toševski, D., Dimić, S., Pejović-Milovančević, M., Knežević, G. & Priebe, S. (2003). Coping strategies in civilians during air attacks. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 38, 128-133. [pdf]
Lečić-Toševski, D., Gavrilović, J., Knežević, G. & Priebe, S. (2003). Personality factors and posttraumatic stress: associations in civilians one year after air attacks. Journal of Personality Disorders, 17(6), 535-549. [pdf]
Gavrilović, J., Lečić-Toševski, D., Knežević, G. & Priebe, S. (2002). Predictors of Postraumatic Stress in Civilians 1 Year after Air Attacks: A Study of Yugoslavian Students. Journal of Nervous and Mental Deseases, 190, 257-262. [pdf]
Jović, V., Opačić, G., Knežević G., Tenjović, L., & Lečić-Toševski, D. (2002). War stressors assessment questionnaire – psychometric evaluation. Psychiatry Today, 34, 51-75. [pdf]
Savić, D., Knežević, G. & Opačić, G. (2001). Individual differences in Stress reaction: An Introduction to a Mathematical Model. Psychiatry Today, 32. (ISSN -0350-2538)
Savić, D., Knežević, G. & Opačić, G. (2000). A Mathematical Model of Stress Reaction: Individual differences in Threshold and Duration. Psychobiology 28, 581-592. [pdf]