Vicarious Impacts of Working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers: An Integrative Review

Pearl Fernandes, Niels Buus, Paul Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A majority of people from a refugee background endure cumulative traumatic experiences that are compounded by acculturative distress, which disrupts their systems of safety, support, sense of justice, and identity. Literature highlighting the impacts of consistently bearing witness to traumatic experiences and addressing the multiple needs of refugee survivors of trauma is limited. This integrative review is based on a systematic database and citation search in Scopus, PsycINFO, PTSDpubs and PubMed and identified four interrelated themes, as a sequel to refugee trauma work: Being challenged by refugee narratives, Altered beliefs and attitudes, Benefits or rewards, and Coping strategies. The review highlights that extant literature in the field of refugee trauma does not sufficiently capture unique, experiential complexities in the sector. It identifies the need for additional research with methodological rigor and a comprehensive theoretical framework to capture the varied vicarious impacts of working with refugee survivors of trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • asylum seekers
  • integrative review
  • refugees
  • torture and trauma
  • Vicarious impacts

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