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Language and communication: A vital component of health for people with refugee backgrounds.


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Aim: This article reports on a collaborative project that explored transdisciplinary understandings of the implications of learning English for the health and well-being of people who have come as refugees to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Background: It is important to understand learners’ backgrounds and wider social worlds to best offer them opportunities for learning the English language, which is in most cases a significant factor in health literacy and in being able to access health care.
Methodology: Secondary analysis was used to analyse the health implications of an emergent data set from a primary research study with learners who were refugees. Sixty adults of refugee backgrounds participated in the primary research. Ages of participants ranged from 18 to 64 years, and the participants were predominantly female.
Findings: The key themes developed from the secondary analysis were: complexity of life experience, challenges to living and learning, family responsibilities, challenges to “peace of mind” and mental health, and personal agency. Eliciting narratives about who people are, where they are from, and how migration affects them at all levels of daily life, and therefore their health and well-being, is integral to culturally safe practice with people with refugee backgrounds.
Conclusions: The health of new New Zealanders is a social equity issue that nurses and other health and social-care professionals need to be concerned with, especially in creating culturally safe conditions for people with refugee backgrounds to engage well with health services.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Refugee, language development, health and well-being, nursing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Depositing User: Patricia McClunie-Trust
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2020 20:05
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:05

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