Psychosocial Intervention Among Orphans: A Meta-Analysis

Psychol Rep. 2022 Nov 25:332941221141309. doi: 10.1177/00332941221141309. Online ahead of print.


Background: There has been an increase in the number of orphans around the world as a result of natural or man-made causes. Orphans are likely to face a number of challenges throughout their lives that go unrecognized. Considering these challenges, much focus needs to be given to manage their mental health issues.

Purpose: The aim of the study is to examine the effectiveness of various psychosocial interventions in managing post-traumatic stress symptoms, emotional and behavioural problems, and depression among orphans.

Method: Electronic searches on seven databases was done to identify studies investigating the effectiveness of interventions among orphans. The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions to reduce post-traumatic stress symptoms, emotional and behavioural problems, and depression was analyzed in seventeen studies. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool.

Result: The overall intervention effect size of post-traumatic stress symptoms was found to be high with high heterogeneity, while low effect size for emotional and behavioural problems, and depression with substantial heterogeneity. Publication bias and exploratory moderating effects of study design and intervention type were also analyzed.

Conclusion: Psychosocial interventions were more effective in reducing post-traumatic stress symptoms when compared to emotional and behavioural problems and depression.

Keywords: Orphans; depression; emotional and behavioural problems; post-traumatic stress symptoms; psychosocial intervention.

Publication types

  • Review