Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 959–973 | Cite as

Health and Socio-Cultural Experiences of Refugee Women: An Integrative Review

  • Sara ShishehgarEmail author
  • Leila Gholizadeh
  • Michelle DiGiacomo
  • Anna Green
  • Patricia M. Davidson
Review Paper


Approximately half of the global refugee population are women, yet they remain largely understudied from the perspective of gender. The aim of this review was to investigate the impact of refugee women’s resettlement and socio-cultural experiences on their health. This review also explored factors promoting resilience in refugee women. Eight databases were searched for peer-reviewed manuscripts published from 2005 to 2014. Grey literature was also reviewed. Data were extracted for population, data collection methods, data analysis, and findings. The Resource-Based Model was used as an overarching framework for data synthesis. Following the screening of titles and abstracts, 20 studies met the study inclusion criteria. Cultural factors, social and material factors, personal factors, and resilience factors were identified as main themes influencing the health of refugee women. Promotion of factors that enables resettlement is important in promoting the health and wellbeing of refugee women.


Health Integrative review Refugee women Socio-cultural 



The authors wish to thank Jane Van Balen (health librarian) for her significant contribution to the design and execution of the literature search strategy.

Authors’ Contributions

All authors participated in the design of the study. PMD, LG, AG, and MD provided critical feedback on drafts. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author(s) declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Shishehgar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leila Gholizadeh
    • 1
  • Michelle DiGiacomo
    • 1
  • Anna Green
    • 1
  • Patricia M. Davidson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of HealthUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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