Family interventions in traumatized immigrants and refugees: A systematic review

Ortal Slobodin, Joop T.V.M. de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The importance of the family as a unit in the aftermath of trauma necessitates the use of family interventions among immigrants and refugees. While abundant clinical material suggests that family-based trauma interventions are applicable across cultures, very little is known about the extent to which family treatment modalities are effective for immigrants and refugees. We conducted a systematic review of intervention studies that have been designed or modified specifically for traumatized immigrant and refugee families. The terms “trauma,” “family,” and “immigrants/refugees/culture” were used along with different terms for “intervention.” Studies with no research methodology were excluded. Only 6 experimental studies met our inclusion criteria; 4 of them describe school-based interventions and 2 present multifamily support groups. The shortage of research in this area does not allow clear conclusions about the effectiveness of family interventions for traumatized immigrants or refugees. The complexity of employing methodologically rigorous research in small communities is discussed. Future trials should go beyond the individualistic approach and focus on posttraumatic stress disorder to address family-level processes, such as family relationship, communication, and resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-742
Number of pages20
JournalTranscultural Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • family
  • immigrants
  • intervention
  • refugees
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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