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P48 Identifying Nutrition Education Strategies for Refugees in Western Countries: A Scoping Review

      Background

      A growing number of refugees are resettling in Western countries. Refugees face many challenges upon resettlement including a new food environment. In the United States, government and private entities provide nutrition education to refugees, which may help them navigate their new environment. A literature review on the effectiveness of nutrition education with resettled refugee populations in Western countries has not been previously published.

      Objective

      To identify different strategies used in nutrition education targeting refugees.

      Study Design, Settings, Participants

      Scoping review of nutrition education with refugees in the United States and other Western countries.

      Methods

      A scoping review of peer-reviewed articles published between 1980 and 2018 was conducted. The methodology was based on the method of Lavec. A systematic article search was done using electronic databases. Of 1,655 identified articles, 20 met the inclusion criteria.

      Results

      The scoping review identified 13 outcome-focused studies and 7 curriculum development and evaluation studies. Seven studies used a rigorous design and showed positive impacts on the nutrition knowledge and behaviors of refugees. Topics included in nutrition education programs are relevant to challenges refugees face such as using SNAP benefits and shopping at grocery stores. Strategies used to enhance effectiveness included needs assessment prior to delivering nutrition education, a client-centered approach, and iterative and collaborative approaches with refugee communities.

      Conclusions

      The scoping review showed that nutrition education improved refugees’ nutrition knowledge and behavior. However, more research with rigorous design is needed to further determine the most effective nutrition education methods for these populations.
      Funding: Utah State University Extension.

      Appendix. Supplementary data