Asylum seekers' expectations of and trust in general practice: a qualitative study

O'Donnell, C.A., Higgins, M., Chauhan, R. and Mullen, K. (2008) Asylum seekers' expectations of and trust in general practice: a qualitative study. British Journal of General Practice, 58(557), e1-e11. (doi:10.3399/bjgp08X376104)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3399/bjgp08X376104

Abstract

<b>Background</b> The UK has substantial minority populations of short-term and long-term migrants from countries with various types of healthcare systems.<p></p> <b>Aim</b> This study explored how migrants' previous knowledge and experience of health care influences their current expectations of health care in a system relying on clinical generalists performing a gatekeeping role.<p></p> <b>Design of study</b> Two qualitative methods.<p></p> <b>Setting</b> Glasgow, UK.<p></p> <b>Method</b> Focus groups or semi-structured interviews were conducted with 52 asylum seekers. Analyses identified several areas where previous experience affected current expectations. An overview of health systems in each country of origin was established by combining responders' accounts with World Health Organization statistics.<p></p> <b>Results</b> Asylum seekers had previous experience of a diverse range of healthcare systems, most of which were characterised by a lack of GPs and direct access to hospital-based specialists. For some responders, war or internal conflict resulted in a complete breakdown of healthcare systems. Responders' accounts also highlighted the difficulties that marginalised groups had in accessing health care. Although asylum seekers were generally pleased with the care they received from the NHS, there were areas where they experienced difficulties: confidence in their GP and access to hospital-based specialists and medication. These difficulties encountered might be explained by previous experience.<p></p> <b>Conclusion</b> GPs and other healthcare professionals need to be aware that experience of different systems of care can have an impact on individuals' expectations in a GP-led system. If these are not acknowledged and addressed, a lack of confidence and trust in the GP may undermine the effectiveness of the clinical consultation.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:asylum seekers, general practice, health care needs, trust
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mullen, Dr Kenneth and O'Donnell, Professor Kate
Authors: O'Donnell, C.A., Higgins, M., Chauhan, R., and Mullen, K.
Subjects:R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Clinical Specialities
Journal Name:British Journal of General Practice
Publisher:Royal College of General Practitioners
ISSN:0960-1643
ISSN (Online):1478-5242

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