Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of



Wael ElRayes

Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Transcultural Nursing (2023)

DOI: 10.1177/10436596231163876


Copyright © 2023 Nada A. Alnaji, Julie A. Tippens, and Wael ElRayes. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


Introduction: Globally, 27 million female refugees of reproductive age are subjected to numerous socio-ecological factors that increase their risks of mental health issues, especially during the postpartum period. This study seeks to explore Syrian refugee mothers’ experiences and perceptions of postpartum depression.

Methods: We used a qualitative phenomenological approach to interview purposively sampled typical postpartum Syrian mothers living in informal camps in Lebanon to evaluate their maternal mental health perceptions, coping strategies, and help-seeking practices.

Results: Results revealed three major themes: conceptualizing maternal depression as extraordinary and ordinary, cultural perceptions of mental health help-seeking, and coping with negative emotions.

Discussions: Findings are critical to Lebanon and other Muslim refugee-hosting countries as they can inform future health policies, health care delivery models, and community interventions. Utilizing culturally and religiously appropriate frameworks in assessing and providing mental health services to this vulnerable group can substantially improve mental health services’ acceptance, utilization, and impact.