Social Networks and Support to Older People in Refugee Situation in Western Countries

A Scoping Review Protocol

  • Prince Chiagozie Ekoh University of Calgary
  • Christine Walsh
  • Elizabeth Onyedikachi George
  • Anthony Obinna Iwuagwu
Keywords: aging, older adults, refugees, social networks, social support


Background: Forced migration of humans as a result of conflict continues to be a global problem. Many of the refugees displaced and made vulnerable by conflict induced forced migration are older adults. These older adults may lose their social networks and support as a result of the conflicts leading to migration and be unable to recreate them, making them more vulnerable. This review aims to describe the social network and support situation of older adults in refugee situation as presented in global literature.

Methods/Design: The five steps of Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) framework to search multiple databases from inception till June 2021 will be followed. MeSH terms and keywords, e.g., “older refugees”, “refugees”, and “social network”, “social support”, will be adopted for the following databases: SocINDEX, PsychINFO, Social Work Abstracts, Sociology Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, Web of Science and/or Scopus, Canadian electronic library. Citations will be screened (title/abstract and full text) using predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) will be used to describe the process of data inclusion and exclusion.

Discussion: This review will reveal gaps in the provision of social support to older refugees and inform policy development for the improvement of support to older refugees.