Family-Based Mental Health Promotion for Somali Bantu and Bhutanese Refugees: Feasibility and Acceptability Trial

Theresa S. Betancourt, Jenna M. Berent, Jordan Freeman, Rochelle L. Frounfelker, Robert T. Brennan, Saida Abdi, Ali Maalim, Abdirahman Abdi, Tej Mishra, Bhuwan Gautam, John W. Creswell, William R. Beardslee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: There are disparities in mental health of refugee youth compared with the general U.S. population. We conducted a pilot feasibility and acceptability trial of the home-visiting Family Strengthening Intervention for refugees (FSI-R) using a community-based participatory research approach. The FSI-R aims to promote youth mental health and family relationships. We hypothesized that FSI-R families would have better psychosocial outcomes and family functioning postintervention compared with care-as-usual (CAU) families. We hypothesized that FSI-R would be feasible to implement and accepted by communities. Methods: A total of 40 Somali Bantu (n = 103 children, 58.40% female; n = 43 caregivers, 79.00% female) and 40 Bhutanese (n = 49 children, 55.30% female; n = 62 caregivers, 54.00% female) families were randomized to receive FSI-R or CAU. Refugee research assistants conducted psychosocial assessments pre- and post-intervention, and home visitors delivered the preventive intervention. Multilevel modeling assessed the effects of FSI-R. Feasibility was measured from retention, and acceptability was measured from satisfaction surveys. Results: The retention rate of 82.50% indicates high feasibility, and high reports of satisfaction (81.50%) indicate community acceptance. Across communities, FSI-R children reported reduced traumatic stress reactions, and caregivers reported fewer child depression symptoms compared with CAU families (β = −.42; p = .03; β = −.34; p = .001). Bhutanese FSI-R children reported reduced family arguing (β = −1.32; p = .04) and showed fewer depression symptoms and conduct problems by parent report (β = −9.20; p = .04; β = −.92; p = .01) compared with CAU. There were no significant differences by group on other measures. Conclusions: A family-based home-visiting preventive intervention can be feasible and acceptable and has promise for promoting mental health and family functioning among refugees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Refugees
Health Promotion
Mental Health
Caregivers
Community-Based Participatory Research
Depression
Family Relations

Keywords

  • Family functioning
  • Intervention
  • Prevention
  • Refugees
  • Youth mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Betancourt, T. S., Berent, J. M., Freeman, J., Frounfelker, R. L., Brennan, R. T., Abdi, S., ... Beardslee, W. R. (Accepted/In press). Family-Based Mental Health Promotion for Somali Bantu and Bhutanese Refugees: Feasibility and Acceptability Trial. Journal of Adolescent Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.08.023

Family-Based Mental Health Promotion for Somali Bantu and Bhutanese Refugees : Feasibility and Acceptability Trial. / Betancourt, Theresa S.; Berent, Jenna M.; Freeman, Jordan; Frounfelker, Rochelle L.; Brennan, Robert T.; Abdi, Saida; Maalim, Ali; Abdi, Abdirahman; Mishra, Tej; Gautam, Bhuwan; Creswell, John W.; Beardslee, William R.

In: Journal of Adolescent Health, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Betancourt, TS, Berent, JM, Freeman, J, Frounfelker, RL, Brennan, RT, Abdi, S, Maalim, A, Abdi, A, Mishra, T, Gautam, B, Creswell, JW & Beardslee, WR 2019, 'Family-Based Mental Health Promotion for Somali Bantu and Bhutanese Refugees: Feasibility and Acceptability Trial', Journal of Adolescent Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.08.023
Betancourt, Theresa S. ; Berent, Jenna M. ; Freeman, Jordan ; Frounfelker, Rochelle L. ; Brennan, Robert T. ; Abdi, Saida ; Maalim, Ali ; Abdi, Abdirahman ; Mishra, Tej ; Gautam, Bhuwan ; Creswell, John W. ; Beardslee, William R. / Family-Based Mental Health Promotion for Somali Bantu and Bhutanese Refugees : Feasibility and Acceptability Trial. In: Journal of Adolescent Health. 2019.
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abstract = "Purpose: There are disparities in mental health of refugee youth compared with the general U.S. population. We conducted a pilot feasibility and acceptability trial of the home-visiting Family Strengthening Intervention for refugees (FSI-R) using a community-based participatory research approach. The FSI-R aims to promote youth mental health and family relationships. We hypothesized that FSI-R families would have better psychosocial outcomes and family functioning postintervention compared with care-as-usual (CAU) families. We hypothesized that FSI-R would be feasible to implement and accepted by communities. Methods: A total of 40 Somali Bantu (n = 103 children, 58.40{\%} female; n = 43 caregivers, 79.00{\%} female) and 40 Bhutanese (n = 49 children, 55.30{\%} female; n = 62 caregivers, 54.00{\%} female) families were randomized to receive FSI-R or CAU. Refugee research assistants conducted psychosocial assessments pre- and post-intervention, and home visitors delivered the preventive intervention. Multilevel modeling assessed the effects of FSI-R. Feasibility was measured from retention, and acceptability was measured from satisfaction surveys. Results: The retention rate of 82.50{\%} indicates high feasibility, and high reports of satisfaction (81.50{\%}) indicate community acceptance. Across communities, FSI-R children reported reduced traumatic stress reactions, and caregivers reported fewer child depression symptoms compared with CAU families (β = −.42; p = .03; β = −.34; p = .001). Bhutanese FSI-R children reported reduced family arguing (β = −1.32; p = .04) and showed fewer depression symptoms and conduct problems by parent report (β = −9.20; p = .04; β = −.92; p = .01) compared with CAU. There were no significant differences by group on other measures. Conclusions: A family-based home-visiting preventive intervention can be feasible and acceptable and has promise for promoting mental health and family functioning among refugees.",
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AU - Berent, Jenna M.

AU - Freeman, Jordan

AU - Frounfelker, Rochelle L.

AU - Brennan, Robert T.

AU - Abdi, Saida

AU - Maalim, Ali

AU - Abdi, Abdirahman

AU - Mishra, Tej

AU - Gautam, Bhuwan

AU - Creswell, John W.

AU - Beardslee, William R.

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N2 - Purpose: There are disparities in mental health of refugee youth compared with the general U.S. population. We conducted a pilot feasibility and acceptability trial of the home-visiting Family Strengthening Intervention for refugees (FSI-R) using a community-based participatory research approach. The FSI-R aims to promote youth mental health and family relationships. We hypothesized that FSI-R families would have better psychosocial outcomes and family functioning postintervention compared with care-as-usual (CAU) families. We hypothesized that FSI-R would be feasible to implement and accepted by communities. Methods: A total of 40 Somali Bantu (n = 103 children, 58.40% female; n = 43 caregivers, 79.00% female) and 40 Bhutanese (n = 49 children, 55.30% female; n = 62 caregivers, 54.00% female) families were randomized to receive FSI-R or CAU. Refugee research assistants conducted psychosocial assessments pre- and post-intervention, and home visitors delivered the preventive intervention. Multilevel modeling assessed the effects of FSI-R. Feasibility was measured from retention, and acceptability was measured from satisfaction surveys. Results: The retention rate of 82.50% indicates high feasibility, and high reports of satisfaction (81.50%) indicate community acceptance. Across communities, FSI-R children reported reduced traumatic stress reactions, and caregivers reported fewer child depression symptoms compared with CAU families (β = −.42; p = .03; β = −.34; p = .001). Bhutanese FSI-R children reported reduced family arguing (β = −1.32; p = .04) and showed fewer depression symptoms and conduct problems by parent report (β = −9.20; p = .04; β = −.92; p = .01) compared with CAU. There were no significant differences by group on other measures. Conclusions: A family-based home-visiting preventive intervention can be feasible and acceptable and has promise for promoting mental health and family functioning among refugees.

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KW - Family functioning

KW - Intervention

KW - Prevention

KW - Refugees

KW - Youth mental health

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