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Title: Hair hormone data from Syrian refugee children: Perspectives from a two-year longitudinal study
Authors: May, Andrew K.
Smeeth, Demelza
McEwen, Fiona
Moghames, Patricia
Karam, Elie G.
Rieder, Michael J.
Elzagallaai, Abdelbaset A.
van Uum, Stan
Pluess, Michael
Affiliations: Faculty of Medicine 
Keywords: Cortisol
Forced displacement
War trauma
Issue Date: 2024-05-01
Part of: Comprehensive Psychoneuroendocrinology
Volume: 18
For numerous issues of convenience and acceptability, hair hormone data have been increasingly incorporated in the field of war trauma and forced displacement, allowing retrospective examination of several biological metrics thought to covary with refugees’ mental health. As a relatively new research method, however, there remain several complexities and uncertainties surrounding the use of hair hormones, from initial hair sampling to final statistical analysis, many of which are underappreciated in the extant literature, and restrict the potential utility of hair hormones. To promote awareness, we provide a narrative overview of our experiences collecting and analyzing hair hormone data in a large cohort of Syrian refugee children (n = 1594), across two sampling waves spaced 12 months apart. We highlight both the challenges faced, and the promising results obtained thus far, and draw comparisons to other prominent studies in this field. Recommendations are provided to future researchers, with emphasis on longitudinal study designs, thorough collection and reporting of hair-related variables, and careful adherence to current laboratory guidelines and practices.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cpnec.2024.100231
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine

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