Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 968–977 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of Naturalistic Interventions in Refugee Populations

  • Sierra van Wyk
  • Robert D. SchweitzerEmail author
Original Paper


Naturalistic interventions with refugee populations examine outcomes following mental health interventions in existing refugee service organisations. The current review aimed to examine outcomes of naturalistic interventions and quality of the naturalistic intervention literature in refugee populations with the view to highlight the strengths and limitations of naturalistic intervention studies. Database search was conducted using the search terms ‘refugee’, ‘asylum seeker’, ‘treatment’, ‘therapy’ and ‘intervention. No date limitations were applied, but searches were limited to articles written in English. Seven studies were identified that assessed the outcome of naturalistic interventions on adult refugees or asylum seekers in a country of resettlement using quantitative outcome measures. Results showed significant variation in the outcomes of naturalistic intervention studies, with a trend towards showing decreased symptomatology at post-intervention. However, conclusions are limited by methodological problems of the studies reviewed, particularly poor documentation of intervention methods and lack of control in the design of naturalistic intervention studies. Further examination of outcomes following naturalistic interventions is needed with studies which focus on increasing the rigour of the outcome assessment process.


Refugee Mental health Intervention Adult Systematic review 


References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the systematic review

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology and CounsellingQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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