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Study Urges Child Development Screening for Refugee Families

Study Urges Child Development Screening for Refugee Families

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A study, “Developmental Screening of Refugees: A Qualitative Study,” found that refugee children’s development is at risk due to the difficulties in the process of relocation.

The study, analyzed a series of interviews with parents, community collaborators, and providers from a refugee health center in Rochester, N.Y. Researchers identified considerations and challenges in screening for child developmental delays, grouped into four domains:

    Values and perceptions
    Child development

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Additional observations related to refugee community experiences; and feedback specific to the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status, a screening instrument. By categorizing issues into domains, researchers provided an in-depth look at many factors that influence how a refugee parent might recognize or respond to concerns with their child’s development. These factors included cultural barriers, such as religious stigma and traditional family roles, and financial and educational experiences among refugee families.

The study also recommends steps for doctors to promote screening for refugee children, and emphasizes the importance of understanding cultural context and of a trusting relationship between doctor and parent.

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