A systematic review of school-based social-emotional interventions for refugee and war-traumatized youth

Added November 28, 2017

Citation: Sullivan A.L., and Simonson G.R. A systematic review of school based social-emotional interventions for refugee and war-traumatized youth. Review of Educational Research. 2016;86(2):503-30.

Thirteen studies of school-based interventions for refugee and war-traumatized youth were included in this review. The cognitive behavioral therapy-based interventions showed consistent positive outcomes for symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Schools provide the majority of mental health services accessed by children and youth. This narrative systematic review evaluated school-based interventions aiming to improve mental health or social-emotional functioning of refugees or immigrants with war trauma. Meta-analysis was not possible due to the variations in treatment approaches, timeframes, and study populations. The studies included 1,433 participants from 26 countries, aged between 3 and 19 years. Three types of school-based interventions were identified: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), creative expression, and multimodal models. The CBT interventions had the most consistent positive outcomes for mental health, and often included culturally sensitive adaptations. Creative expression interventions were the most commonly used intervention, but demonstrated conflicting results.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the health of refugees and asylum seekers but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the health of refugees and asylum seekers on the basis of this summary alone.

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