‘These are all my countries’- exploring the psychosocial experiences of refugee children and families resettling in Edinburgh
Objective: The systematic review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of cultural adaptations to psychosocial interventions conducted within the United Kingdom. The empirical study aimed to explore the psychosocial experiences of young refugees and their families resettling in Edinburgh. Additionally, it sought to gather information on the experiences of staff and volunteers from organisations working with refugee/ asylum-seeking families. A triangulation of these three groups aimed to provide rich insight into the resettlement process and provide opportunities for meaningful change. Methods: For the review, eleven databases were searched to identify studies examining psychosocial interventions for refugee young people and families. Cultural adaptations were also identified within these studies to examine their effectiveness at supporting refugee families. For the empirical study, interviews and focus groups were conducted across the three participant groups; refugee young people, refugee mothers and staff members. Refugee participants were asked questions about the positive and negative aspects of resettling in Edinburgh, whilst staff participants discussed the rewards and challenges when working with refugee populations. Results: For the systematic review, eleven studies met eligibility criteria. These studies used a number of methodological designs, psychosocial interventions and cultural adaptations to engage and support refugee families. The identified studies reported that participants found the culturally adapted interventions helpful. During the empirical study, four themes emerged across all three participant groups; Trust & Safety, Connection & Disconnect, Meeting Needs and Identity. Three other themes emerged specific to different participant groups; Loss & Longing for both refugee groups, and Unknown & Uncertainty and Vocational Discord for the staff participant group. Discussion: Studies in the systematic review have provided support for the use of cultural adaptations, however there were no measures taken to identify the effectiveness of different components of treatment. The empirical study identified clinical implications and recommendations for service change. Both parts of this project emphasise the need for further research within a refugee/ asylum-seeker population, with particular emphasis on building trusting relationships and recognising cultural strengths and coping strategies.