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.
- Family functioning
- Youth mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health