Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 431–441 | Cite as

Trauma-Informed Psychoeducation for Somali Refugee Youth in Urban Kenya: Effects on PTSD and Psychosocial Outcomes

  • Hyojin ImEmail author
  • Jennifer F. Jettner
  • Abdilkadir H. Warsame
  • Maimuna M. Isse
  • Dalia Khoury
  • Avina I. Ross


The current study developed and implemented a trauma-informed psychoeducation (TIPE) intervention that is culturally relevant to urban Somali refugees in Nairobi, Kenya. A total of 141 Somali refugee youth completed 12 sessions of peer-led TIPE intervention. A series of pre- and post-tests revealed that TIPE made positive impacts on PTSD symptoms and psychosocial factors, with a differential effect observed according to baseline PTSD symptom report. Participants with high baseline PTSD scores (i.e. above clinical threshold) reported a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms and increase in perceived social support. In the meantime, those with no to mild baseline PTSD symptoms showed an increase in self-awareness of trauma responses and thus PTSD symptom report within the range of normalcy. This research supports the effect of a culturally relevant psychoeducation intervention in addressing the high mental health and psychosocial needs of the marginalized urban Somali refugee community in low resource settings.


Mental health Refugee trauma Intervention Social support Peer-led psychoeducation 



The authors wish to acknowledge Tawakal Medical Centre (TMC), which mobilized the community, recruited community leaders and Somali youth participants, and translated research materials for both training and interventions. We are grateful to the local CBO, Saxansaxo (meaning Breeze of Hope), which consists of youth leaders for helping provide the TIPE intervention to youth peers in collaboration with community counselors. We also thank Africa Mental Health Foundation for coordinating and managing the administrative aspect of the project. This study was funded by the Kenya Transitional Initiative (KTI), USAID.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Disclosure of Interest

Hyojin Im has no conflict of interest to disclose. Jennifer F. Jettner has no conflict of interest to disclose. Abdilkadir H. Warsame has no conflict of interest to disclose. Maimuna M. Isse has no conflict of interest to disclose. Dalia Khoury has no conflict of interest to disclose. Avina I. Ross has no conflict of interest to disclose.

Ethical Standards and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation [institutional and national] and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Tawakal Medical CentreNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  4. 4.University Health Services, Princeton UniversityNew JerseyUSA

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