Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Family therapy sessions with regugee families: a qualitative study
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1588-135X
2013 (English)In: Conflict and Health, ISSN 1752-1505, E-ISSN 1752-1505, Vol. 7, 7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Due to the armed conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s many families escaped to other countries. The main goal of this study was to explore in more detail the complexity of various family members’ experiences and perceptions from their life before the war, during the war and the escape, and during their new life in Sweden. There is insufficient knowledge of refugee families’ perceptions, experiences and needs, and especially of the complexity of family perspectives and family systems. This study focused on three families from Bosnia and Herzegovina who came to Sweden and were granted permanent residence permits. The families had at least one child between 5 and 12 years old.

Method

Family therapy sessions were videotaped and verbatim transcriptions were made. Nine family therapy sessions were analysed using a qualitative method with directed content analysis.

Results

Three main categories and ten subcategories were found - 1. Everyday life at home, with two subcategories: The family, Work and School/preschool; 2. The influence of war on everyday life, with three subcategories: The war, The escape, Reflections; 3. The new life, with five subcategories: Employment, Health, Relatives and friends, Limited future, Transition to the new life.

Conclusions

Health care and social welfare professionals need to find out what kind of lives refugee families have lived before coming to a new country, in order to determine individual needs of support. In this study the families had lived ordinary lives in their country of origin, and after experiencing a war situation they escaped to a new country and started a new life. They had thoughts of a limited future but also hopes of getting jobs and taking care of themselves and their families. When analysing each person’s point of view one must seek an all-embracing picture of a family and its complexity to tie together the family narrative. To offer refugee families meetings with family-oriented professionals to provide the opportunity to create a family narrative is recommended for the health and social welfare sector. Using this knowledge by emphasizing the salutogenic perspectives facilitates support to refugee families and individuals. This kind of support can help refugee families to adapt to a new system of society and recapture a sense of coherence, including all three components that lead to coherence: comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness. More studies are needed to further investigate the thoughts, experiences and needs of various refugee families and how refugee receiving societies can give the most effective support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2013. Vol. 7, 7
Keyword [en]
Migration, Refugee children, Family therapy, Qualitative method
National Category
Other Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90882DOI: 10.1186/1752-1505-7-7PubMedID: 23537380OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-90882DiVA: diva2:614894
Available from: 2013-04-08 Created: 2013-04-08 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Refugee Children and Families: Psychological Health, Brief Family Intervention and Ethical Aspects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Refugee Children and Families: Psychological Health, Brief Family Intervention and Ethical Aspects
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: There are more than 45 million refugees and displaced people in the world. Children constitute almost half of the refugee population. It is an enormous challenge and a complex situation for refugee children and families escaping from their home country, to a new system of society to which they have to adapt and where they have to recapture a sense of coherence. This thesis focuses on the psychological health of younger refugee children before and after an intervention with family therapy sessions. The experiences and perceptions of refugee families who fled to Sweden as a result of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 and who have permanent residence permits were explored. The ethical aspects of treatment of traumatized refugee children and families were also analysed.

Aims: To investigate parent-child agreement on the psychological symptoms of the refugee children; to explore refugee children’s well-being before and after three sessions of family therapy; to explore, in more detail, the complexity of various family members’ experiences and perceptions of their life before the war, during the war and their escape, and in their new life in Sweden; and also to highlight ethical issues and conduct ethical analyses using basic ethical principles that take into account the varying perspectives of the actors involved with regard to the psychological treatment of refugee children and families.

Methods: Data was collected using parental interviews and psychological assessments of children aged five to twelve years. In the first study, 13 children were assessed using the Erica Method and compared with a Swedish reference group consisting of 80 children. In the second study, the Erica Method assessments from before and after an intervention with brief family therapy were compared for ten out of those 13 children, complemented by parental interviews. Family therapy sessions were videotaped, and in the third study, the verbatim transcripts of nine family therapy sessions were analysed using a qualitative method with directed content analysis. Finally, the basic ethical principles in two case studies of teenage refugee children concerning psychological treatment were analysed taking into account the varying perspectives of the actors involved in the treatment.

Results: Parents’ assessments of their children’s psychological health according to a symptom and behaviour interview did not correlate with the findings of the psychological assessments of children using the Erica Method. The majority of the parents were unaware of their children’s psychological problems, as identified in the psychological assessments. There was a higher rate of not-normal sandboxes (Erica Method) in this group of refugee children, compared to the Swedish reference group. A statistically significant number of cases had improved after a brief family therapy intervention when evaluated with Erica Method. Three main categories emerged from the analysis of the family therapy sessions: “Everyday life at home”, “Influence of war on everyday life”, and “The new life”. The three main categories were comprised of a total of ten subcategories: the family, work and school/preschool, the war, the escape, reflections, employment, health, relatives and friends, a  limited future, and transition to the new life. A structured ethical analysis concerning the principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice is feasible and valuable when dealing with refugee children and families in clinical practice as well as in research.

Conclusion: The findings from these studies show the importance of highlighting individual perspectives from the point of view of children, parents, and siblings in order to better understand the complexity of family systems. Family interventions could be beneficial for refugee children and families, even if the children do not present with overt psychological problems. Salutogenic perspectives facilitate the provision of support to refugee families. Such support helps refugee families to adapt to a new system of society and recapture a sense of coherence. In research as well as in treatment sessions, basic ethical principles, from the point of view of all actors involved, is recommended to be taken into consideration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 100 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1373
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97333 (URN)978-91-7519-543-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-04, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-09-10 Created: 2013-09-10 Last updated: 2013-09-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(271 kB)147 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 271 kBChecksum SHA-512
31fc440b4406d2c82baf75421fff153dc0d097952d8202667c9770d5dbfd0af59d796b85e11fa207e07d93376f2ead4490c1961202902bf176c6006a93cb3540
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Jarkman Björn, GunillaGustafsson, Per A.Sydsjö, GunillaBerterö, Carina
By organisation
Child and Adolescent PsychiatryFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in LinköpingObstetrics and gynecologyDepartment of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in LinköpingNursing Science
In the same journal
Conflict and Health
Other Health Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 147 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn
Total: 241 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf