RHS-15

The RHS-15 is a tool for screening refugees for emotional distress and mental health. The RHS-15 was developed in a community public health setting to be an efficient and effective way to sensitively detect the range of emotional distress common across refugee groups.

The RHS-15 Packet includes the RHS-15 tool, background on the tool’s development, and guidelines on using the RHS-15 with recently resettled refugees.The first 13 questions of the RHS-15 are known as the RHS-13. These questions relate to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The RHS-13 may be used as a shorter screening tool, leaving off questions #14 and #15. For the RHS-13, a total score ≥ 11 is interpreted as screening positive.

The RHS-15 and associated materials, such as a toolkit for use, scripts for use in clinical settings,  provider and refugee community education and a community-based support group curriculum which can be used by para-professionals. All of these can be accessed at the War Survivors Institute: https://warsurvivors.org/other-resources/. From this site you will be prompted to complete a short Utilization form, and then you will receive a dropbox link containing all materials. You may also learn more about use of the RHS-15 from Switchboard Resources: https://switchboardta.org/resource/refugee-health-screener-15-rhs-15-packet/

A recent PubMed search with the terms “Refugee Health Screener-15” or “RHS-15” returns a list of 49 published articles.[1] More may be found using other databases. Information on the use and value of the RHS-15 may be included in these articles and may provide additional insights into its application.


[1] PMC. (2021) Search results. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=(((%22Refugee+Health+Screener -15%22)+OR+%22RHS-15%22))+OR+%22Refugee+Health+Screener+15%22

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