Mental health among the Hmong population in the U.S. A systematic review of the influence of cultural and social factors

Cindy Vang, Fei Sun, Cindy C. Sangalang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Summary: As refugees of the war in Southeast Asia, Hmong experienced various traumatic events. Evidence suggests the persistence of psychiatric disorders related to trauma in refugees even after prolonged resettlement in their host country. This systematic review aimed to summarize the mental health literature on the Hmong population with a focus on cultural and social factors. The databases PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Social Services Abstracts, Web of Science, and PubMed were reviewed for peer-reviewed articles published up to April 2018. Forty articles were included in the final review. Findings: Results highlight three primary themes: (1) mental health outcomes were associated with a variety of premigration and postmigration factors, (2) group and community-based treatment and interventions provided promising results, and (3) barriers to mental health care were primarily stigma, communication challenges, discrimination, and mental health literacy. The results of this systematic review shed light on the limited and small studies with the Hmong population. Applications: Implications for social work and culture-sensitive research, practice, and policymaking for this population are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Social Work
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • cultural competency
  • culturally sensitive
  • ethnic minorities
  • mental health
  • refugees
  • Social work

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