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e-Health for Traumatized Refugees: A Scoping Review

HumanInsight e-Health for Traumatized Refugees: A Scoping Review

Telemed J E Health. 2022 Sep 28. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0228. Online ahead of print.


Background: High prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is reported among refugees exposed to traumatic experiences, while escaping from their home country, entering a third country, and adjusting to a new society. Electronic health (e-health) treatments have been utilized to overcome challenges such as high costs, limited access to care, and a shortage of resources faced by traumatized refugees. Objective: The aim of this scoping review was to summarize the current science on e-health to screen and treat PTSD in traumatized refugees, examine its benefits and challenges, and suggest strategies for future research. Methods: We conducted a scoping review guided by Arksey and O'Malley's 6-stage scoping review framework. Results: Of the 2,782 articles identified, 8 studies were included for the final analysis. Due to the heterogeneity of studies, the synthesis of results was not feasible. However, the findings of individual studies were examined. The most commonly used technology modality was the smartphone (n = 5). One study revealed the possibility of telephonic screening of PTSD to be equally efficacious as in-person screening, and all interventions through smartphone and the internet reported high feasibility and acceptability. Conclusion: e-Health is suggested to be a novel and scalable platform to provide mental health care in settings with limited resources. Larger and highly robust studies in refugee populations with PTSD-targeted, theory-based approaches and diverse technological formats such as video conferencing and virtual reality are warranted.

PMID:36169628 | DOI:10.1089/tmj.2022.0228

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