Children of refugees often experience stress as a result of their flight and living conditions in the Netherlands, which can negatively impact their health. In response to this, Syrian pediatrician and refugee Ghadeer Haj Bakri initiated this project to determine the support needs of refugee parents in assisting their children with stress. Through interviews with refugee parents, it was found that they struggle to recognize stress in their children and lack knowledge on how to support them effectively. They expressed a desire for easily accessible information in their own language. The research aim of this project was to develop an informational session for refugee parents, in collaboration with a general practitioner, as well as a youth nurse a psychologist, and refugee parents.
Firstly, this project examined diagnoses among both refugee children and control children. Data were retrieved from the records of four general practitioner practices and analyzed. The dataset consisted of 152 minor refugee children, matched with 152 Dutch children of the same gender and age, covering the period from September 1, 2014, to September 1, 2019. Respiratory problems were the most commonly diagnosed condition in both groups. The prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses was also examined, with language and speech problems being most prevalent among refugee children.
Secondly, interviews were conducted with refugee parents to explore their ability to recognize PSP in their children, as well as their desires and needs for support in dealing with these issues. Interviews were also conducted with a group of youth health professionals and social professionals to gather their experiences, barriers, and facilitators in identifying and supporting refugee children with psychosocial problems, as well as their collaboration with general practitioners.