Refugee families' experience of research participation

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Abstract

Because refugees can experience crisis, bereavement, and traumatization, there has been a rapid increase of research carried out with refugees. This study investigated how refugee families respond to participation in research. A previous study explored how adults and children had communicated about the difficult question of repatriation after arriving in a new country. Did the in-depth interviews harm or benefit them? Are there any ethical risks in research on traumatized refugees? From an original sample of 74 Bosnian refugees (5–73 years), 30 family members from 9 families including 14 children aged 6 to 19, were re-interiewed. The refugees rated participation as positive. A few parents lacked information that could have enabled them to inform the children better before the interviews. The study shows that studies on traumatized/bereaved populations can have beneficial effects.

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