Europe is in the midst of a large-scale migration crisis, which has implications for healthcare provision for asylum-seeking children and families. The authors set out to identify the psychological status of asylum-seeking children and highlight their needs. A search of three electronic databases was carried out, resulting in 15 studies. Data show that asylum-seeking children appear to experience many mental health difficulties, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, self-harm, sleep disturbance and behavioural difficulties. The daily living situation includes a range of psychological stressors, such as lack of space and control; fear of deportation; feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness; poor parental mental health; lack of recreational facilities; communication issues; and financial worries. Since many asylum-seeking children have experienced past trauma, hospitalisation and healthcare encounters may trigger traumatic memories and cause further distress. Awareness of the psychological impact of the situation on children and families may help nurses to provide empathetic, sensitive and culturally competent care.
British Journal of Nursing – Mark Allen Group
Published: Apr 11, 2019
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