A file study of refugee children referred to specialized mental health care: from an individual diagnostic to an ecological perspective

Author(s): Julia VILLANUEVA O’DRISCOLL ; Geertrui SERNEELS ; Lindita IMERAJ

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00787-017-0981-3

Abstract

The past years have been characterized by a large refugee crisis across the globe. The exposure to preflight, flight, and resettlement stressors puts refugee children and their families at risk of developing emotional and behavioral disorders. A unique Western-based approach of mental health problems seems to be insufficient to address the complexity of interactions between individual vulnerabilities and more ecological surrounding systems. We looked into (1) the reasons for referral; and (2) the process diagnostic outcomes after ethnopsychiatric and psychological assessment. We conducted a thematic content analysis on 93 files of refugee children. The findings suggest that mental health care professionals need to hold into account the multiplicity and intertwining of ongoing challenges to the well-being of refugee children. The integration of a Western-based psychiatric assessment with a more ecologically based view can lead to a more culturally sensitive approach in refugee children and their families. This way, both under- and overdiagnosis of psychiatric disorders could be avoided to further optimalise mental health care in this population.

Keywords

Refugees ; Refugee children ; Ecological framework ; Culturally sensitive approach ; File study ; Mental health care 

Tags: Children, Adolescents, Youth, Refugees, Psychiatric disorders, Transcultural approach

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s