Health seeking behaviours of Vietnamese migrant women and their experiences with the health care system in Umeå Sweden: A qualitative study
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Migration is a complex process with many impacts on physical and psychological health. Sweden has a rapidly growing immigrant population. According to the Health and Medical Services Act of 1982, the full equality in health care access and treatment were provided for all residents, regardless national, ethnic, religious and linguistic background. However, the barriers to health care access and lower satisfactions among migrants were still reported. In Sweden, about 115,331 people had the original residents from East Asia (43,000 people) and Southeast Asia (72,000 people). The largest groups belong to Thai people (36,000 people), Chinese people (28,000) and Vietnamese people (16,000). Being different with Thai and Filipinos people, most of Vietnamese people arrived in Sweden as refugee. The number of Vietnamese foreign-born women in Sweden was 8477 in 2012.
The aims of this study is to explore the health seeking behaviors of Vietnamese migrant women and their experiences with health care system in Umeå, Sweden.
A qualitative methodology was chosen as the research approach for this study. The study was conducted in Umeå city in March, 2016. Seven Vietnamese women aged from 30 to 62, who have been living in Sweden more than 3 years and had at least one experience with health care system were recruited into the study. The in-depth interview was used as the collecting data method. Emergent design was applied to modify the questionnaire during the data collection to explore new information and reflect the experiences of participants. The questionnaire covered the following areas: Acculturation process and respondents’ life in Sweden; Health seeking behaviors; Health experiences with primary health care and reproductive health care; Barriers to health care access. The interviews were conducted in Vietnamese and analyzed in English. Thematic analysis with six basic phrases including: Familiarizing with data, generating initial codes, searching for themes, reviewing themes, defining themes and reporting were applied to perform the analysis process.
In general, the informants expressed their high appreciation with Swedish health system. High quality health staffs and full equipped health facilities were the most noticeable components mentioned by informants. However, some negative feelings related to the unawareness of health staff in cultural differences, unmet expectations and suspicions on quality of medical expertise were also reported. Self-medication with Swedish non-prescribed drugs and Vietnamese medicine was used mostly to deal with minor illness before contacting to health center. Lack of familiarity with heath system; communication and discrimination were detected as the barriers to health care access while patient fee and language were not reported as barriers thank to the supports of county council and Swedish partner during the acculturation process.
In order to provide an appropriate health care services for Vietnamese migrant women, the improvement should take into account of both migrants and health care providers’ perspective. Specific training for health providers on cultural differences will help the communication patients more effectively and build the trust between health users and providers. On the other side, education programs providing information materials about Swedish health system for migrants should be developed to improve the perception of migrants about health care procedure and avoid negative events. Besides, the changes in organizing system is needed to reduce the effects of health care access barriers and increase the utilization of migration to health care services. Other services such as family and social and interpreter service should receive more attentions to provide better supports for migrant.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 44 p.
Centre for Public Health Report Series, ISSN 1651-341x ; 2016:19
Vietnamese migrant women, Swedish health system, self-medication, traditional remedies, acculturation, barriers to health care access, etc.
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131544OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-131544DiVA: diva2:1074849
Vietnamese community in Umeå City, Sweden
Master's Programme in Public Health
2016-05-23, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 11:44 (English)
Kinsman, John, Associated Professor
Coe, Anna-Britt, Associated Professor