Mindfulness-Based Trauma Recovery for Refugees (MBTR-R): Randomized Waitlist-Control Evidence of Efficacy and Safety

Anna Aizik-Reebs, Kim Yuval, Yuval Hadash, Solomon Gebreyohans Gebremariam, Amit Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Refugees and asylum seekers often suffer from trauma- and stress-related mental health problems. We thus developed mindfulness-based trauma recovery for refugees (MBTR-R)—a 9-week, mindfulness-based, trauma-sensitive, and socioculturally adapted group intervention for refugees and asylum seekers. We conducted a randomized waitlist-control study to test its efficacy and safety among a community sample of 158 Eritrean asylum seekers (46.2% female) with severe trauma history and chronic postmigration stress. Relative to the waitlist-control group, MBTR-R participants demonstrated significantly reduced rates and symptom severity of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and multimorbidity at postintervention and 5-week follow-up. Therapeutic effects were not dependent on key demographics, trauma history severity, or postmigration living difficulties. Finally, there was no evidence of adverse effects or lasting clinically significant deterioration in monitored outcomes. The brief intervention format, group-based delivery, and limited attrition indicate that MBTR-R may be a feasible, acceptable, readily implemented, and scalable mental health intervention for refugees and asylum seekers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Psychological Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • PTSD
  • anxiety
  • asylum seekers
  • compassion
  • depression
  • forcibly displaced people
  • meditation
  • mindfulness
  • postmigration stress
  • randomized controlled study
  • refugees
  • stress
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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