A Meta-Analysis of Group Interventions for Trauma and Depression Among Immigrant and Refugee Children

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Purpose: A meta-analysis of group interventions to reduce post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and/or depression among refugee and immigrant children and adolescents. Methods: A systematic search was followed by independent reviews of each study for risk of bias. The meta-analysis pooled between- and within-condition effect sizes on PTSS and depression across studies using a random-effects model. Results: The search yielded 16 studies utilizing eight interventions involving 976 participants. For all studies, within conditions, there were good effects on PTSS (d = 0.66, 95% CI [0.86, 0.46]) and depression (d = 0.51, 95% CI [0.79, 0.23]) with substantial heterogeneity. For studies with control groups, the between-group effect sizes yielded a small effect on PTSS (d = 0.31, 95% CI [0.65, 0.03]) with no significant effect on depression. Conclusions: The interventions helped to reduce PTSS and depression. Most studies lacked rigorous designs and provided little information on group variables needed for replication.

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Rafieifar, M., & Macgowan, M.J. (2022). A meta-analysis of group interventions for trauma and depression among immigrant and refugee children.” Research on Social Work Practice, 32, 13-31.

About This Study:

Outcome(s): PTSD Reduction
Intervention(s): Group interventions including CBT, art therapy, mindfulness, crisis management, EMDR, somatic soothing, emotional regulation.
Intervention Duration: Various
Relevant ORR Program: Children's Services, Refugee School Impact Program, Unaccompanied Refugee Minors, Youth Mentoring
Study Type: Meta-analysis
Full Text Availability: Free
Direction of Evidence: Positive impact
Strength of Evidence: Strong
Population(s): Refugees
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Children
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Multiple Regions

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: