Randomized Controlled Trial of a Multilevel Intervention to Address Social Determinants of Refugee Mental Health

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Understanding processes that support the well-being of the unprecedented numbers of forcibly displaced people throughout the world is essential. Growing evidence documents post-migration stressors related to marginalization as key social determinants of refugee mental health. The goal of this RCT was to rigorously test a social justice approach to reducing high rates of distress among refugees in the United States. The 6-month multilevel, strengths-based Refugee Well-being Project (RWP) intervention brought together university students enrolled in a 2-semester course and recently resettled refugees to engage in mutual learning and collaborative efforts to mobilize community resources and improve community and systems responsiveness to refugees. Results provide evidence to support social justice approaches to improving refugee mental health. Findings have implications for refugees worldwide, and for other immigrant and marginalized populations who experience inequities in resources and disproportionate exposure to trauma/stress.

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Goodkind, J. R., Bybee, D., Hess, J. M., Amer, S., Ndayisenga, M., Greene, R. N., … & Pannah, M. (2020). Randomized controlled trial of a multilevel intervention to address social determinants of refugee mental health.  American Journal of Community Psychology.

About This Study:

Intervention(s): Strengths-Based Approaches
Intervention Duration: 6 months
Relevant ORR Program: Ethnic Community Self-Help Program, Preferred Communities, Refugee Health Promotion, Refugee Support Services
Study Type: Impact evaluation
Full Text Availability: Free
Direction of Evidence: Positive impact
Strength of Evidence: Moderate
Population(s): Refugees
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Adults
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Multiple Regions

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: