Death, dying, and end-of-life experiences among refugees: a scoping review

Madi, Farah, Ismail, Hussein, Fouad, Fouad M, Kerbage, Hala, Zaman, Shahaduz, Jayawickrama, Janaka and Sibai, Abla M (2018) Death, dying, and end-of-life experiences among refugees: a scoping review. Journal of Palliative Care. ISSN 0825-8597

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The objective of this scoping review is to identify and map the global literature on death, dying, and end-of-life experiences among refugees. The study aims at identifying gaps in the literature produced on the topic and informs areas for future research in the field.

We included articles that met the following inclusion criteria: (1) Population: Refugees and/or internally or externally displaced individuals due to wars, conflicts, nonnatural disasters, or emergencies; (2) Setting: End-of-life phase, dying, and death that took place following the refuge or displacement and reported after the year 1980; and (3) Study Design: All types of studies including but not limited to primary studies, narrative reviews, systematic reviews, news, editorials, commentaries, opinion pieces, technical reports, and policy briefs. A systematic search of the following electronic databases: Medline, Scopus, CINAHL, and JSTOR yielded 11 153 records. The search of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees database Refworld retrieved an additional 7510 records.

Seven articles met our inclusion criteria. All articles were coauthored by scholars in universities/research institutes in high-income countries, and except for one, all were conducted in the country of the final settlement of refugees. One article adopted a qualitative approach, another article adopted a mixed-methods approach, one was a narrative review, and 4 articles were reviews of the literature. Three articles discussed access to medical/palliative care among older refugees, and 3 others addressed bereavement and death arrangements. Moreover, one article examined how transmigration and previous experiences from 2 cultural settings in home countries affect the contemplation of death and dying.

Research on end-of-life experiences among refugees is sorely lacking. This study raises awareness of the need for empirical data on end-of-life challenges and palliative care among refugees, thus equipping humanitarian agencies with a more explicit and culturally sensitive lens targeting those with life-limiting conditions.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
Depositing User: Deborah Miller
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 13:10
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2019 14:29

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