A Theoretical Framework for Using Health Realization to Reduce Stress and Improve Coping in Refugee Communities

Linda L. Halcón, Cheryl L Robertson, Karen A Monsen, Cindi C. Claypatch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Refugees have faced extraordinarily stressful situations in their past, and many continue to experience stress daily as they cope with the refugee adjustment experience. A strengths-based, community-focused intervention known as Health Realization (HR) is a promising strategy for nurses to promote positive psychological outcomes in these populations. Although similar in some ways to cognitive therapy, the HR intervention emphasizes the role of thought versus the content of thought. It does not promote actively changing intrusive or negative thoughts but rather promotes an understanding that allows a degree of detachment from thoughts—a shift in consciousness that can provide relief and facilitate healing. An adapted stress and coping model provides a theoretical framework to test the effectiveness of using HR with refugees, which in turn provides a solid foundation for research that can support or refute the existing substantial anecdotal evidence for the use of this intervention in holistic nursing practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Holistic Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007



  • cognitive
  • coping
  • refugees
  • stress

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