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An exploration of the connection between two meaning perspectives: an evidence-based approach to health information delivery to vulnerable groups of Arabic- and Somali-speaking asylum seekers in a Swedish context
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2012 (English)In: Global Health Pomotion, ISSN 1757-9759, Vol. 19, no 3, 21-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The right to health care is significant for asylum seekers, particularly as many of them have experienced traumatic life events in their home country, during flight or in their host country. Postmigration living conditions have more impact than pre-migration conditions on ill health among asylum seekers, which underscores the importance of health care-related refugee reception policies. The purpose of this article is to explore the perceived meaning of comprehensive health information provided by a nurse to Arabic- and Somali-speaking adult asylum seekers, in a Swedish context, during its introduction at the Migration Board. In our study, the endpoint was whether asylum seekers found such health information relevant, understandable and respectful. Following an oral presentation, participants filled in a questionnaire consisting of three close-ended questions. A total of 39 groups of presentation attendees included 626 asylum seekers (415 Arabic-and 211 Somali-speaking). Data were analysed with descriptive statistics. Comments underwent content analysis. We also present some socio-demographic data on these asylum seekers. Independently of gender and language, the participants expressed their gratitude for and the meaningfulness of receiving professional, fact-based information, as well as being treated with concern and respect. They indicated a great need for this and felt relieved by being listened to. They liked the pedagogic group method, the opportunity for dialogue and to practice exercising their rights. These promising results indicate that exercising the asylum-seekers' right to receive such health information would improve future reception policies not only in Sweden, but throughout the EU. A renewed focus on communication and pedagogic skills, instead of just cultural training, should be considered for health care professionals assisting asylum seekers. (Global Health Promotion, 2012; 19(3): 21-31)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 19, no 3, 21-31 p.
Keyword [en]
asylum; immigration; Somali; Arabic; health promotion; health literacy; ethics; refugee empowerment; health care policy; Swedish Migration Board
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-60648DOI: 10.1177/1757975912453182ISI: 000308328500004OAI: diva2:562964
Available from: 2012-10-26 Created: 2012-10-22 Last updated: 2012-10-26Bibliographically approved

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