Southeast Asian Refugee Women and Depression: A Nursing Intervention


Fox, P.G., J.M. Cowell, A.C. Montgomery, and M.A. Willgerodt. 1998. "Southeast Asian Refugee Women and Depression: A Nursing Intervention." The International Journal of Psychiatric Nursing Research 4 (1): 423-32.

Authors: P.G. Fox, J.M. Cowell, A.C. Montgomery, M.A. Willgerodt


Globally, conflicts continue to result in large numbers of refugees and displaced persons, the majority are women. At present, there is scant literature on the mental health status of refugee women following resettlement in countries that grant asylum. We do know that adaptation following migration is a complex cultural, psychological and social process. Some studies have suggested a high prevalence of depression symptoms related to premigration and post-migration experiences. The purpose of this paper will be to describe the mental health status of Southeast Asian (S.E.A.) refugee women in the United States, before home visit interventions by school nurses and bilingual teachers, and at 10, 20 and 33 weeks following the intervention. A comparison group of S.E.A. refugee women, who did not receive the intervention, were evaluated for mental health status on two occasions ten weeks apart. The identified needs and problems identified by the women, the interventions implemented by the school nurses and the success of the interventions will also be discussed. The underlying problem for the majority of women was poverty and social isolation. The study demonstrates that indeed, refugee women in the U.S., are experiencing needs and problems related to basic survival issues in multiple areas of their lives. The findings suggest that home visit interventions by nurses may be a valuable means of reducing depression in S.E.A. refugee women.

Keywords: female refugees, depression, mental health, counseling

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: United States of America

Year: 1998

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