Journal of Refugee & Global Health


In 2015, over 21 million refugees were displaced worldwide. A significant issue faced by this population is occupational deprivation – being deprived of engagement in meaningful activities. Despite this being a global problem, information on interventions that address occupational deprivation has not been synthesized. To bridge this gap, we conducted a scoping review to examine interventions that can be used when working with refugees who face this issue. For our methods, we used a five-step framework and reviewed interventions using the following databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar. Initial searches yielded 191 studies, 7 of which were retained. Community-based rehabilitation, familiar activities from native countries, projective techniques allowing for emotional expression, mastery of practical skills allowing for navigation in new environments, and activities that promote social participation can be used with refugees who face occupational deprivation. These interventions may help promote refugees’ engagement in activities that hold personal, social, and cultural meaning.


The authors received no funding for this research.




At the time of publication, five references following Suleman & Whiteford were omitted from the end of the article. The Acknowledgements section was also missing from the full text. These errors have since been corrected.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.