Psychosocial interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder in refugees and asylum seekers resettled in high-income countries: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Added November 28, 2017

Citation: Nosè M., Ballette F., Bighelli I., et al. Psychosocial interventions for post traumatic stress disorder in refugees and asylum seekers resettled in high income countries: Systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS One. 2017;12(2):e0171030.

Twelve randomized controlled clinical trials were included to evaluate psychosocial interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in refugees and asylum seekers resettled in high-income countries. Psychosocial interventions were overall effective in decreasing PTSD symptoms relative to control groups.

Seven databases were searched in July 2016 to identify the twelve randomized controlled clinical trials for the meta-analysis. The primary outcome assessed was the mean score post-intervention on a valid PTSD rating scale, such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale or the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. Overall, the psychosocial interventions for asylum seekers and refugees with PTSD were found to provide significant benefits in reducing PTSD symptoms. Narrative exposure therapy, which is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy with a trauma focus, was the best supported intervention. Trauma-focused psychotherapy was the next-best supported, with two heterogenous studies in favour of the intervention. However, due to the low sample size and limited methodological quality, the authors recommend that more rigorous trials should be conducted.

 

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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