• Asylum seekers and refugees: A cross European perspective

      Balaam, M-C.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Korfker, D.; Savona-Ventura, C. (2017-06-13)
      In this chapter we explore issues of psychosocial resilience and risk related to asylum seeking and refugee women during the perinatal period, drawing on experiences from three diverse European countries; the United Kingdom (UK), Malta and the Netherlands. First we define the terms asylum seekers and refugees to allow us to focus on the issues that pertain specifically to women experiencing this form of migration. We also note the prevalence of migration in contemporary society. We explore recent research on asylum seeking and refugee women in the perinatal period to identify; the barriers women face in accessing care in their reception countries and their experiences of perinatal care. Through this work, the challenges faced by healthcare professionals to provide culturally appropriate and high quality care to these women who face a range of psychosocial challenges are also highlighted. We suggest possible ways to address some of these challenges including how health professionals can actively build on the resilience of asylum seeking and refugee women to improve their perinatal experiences. We conclude by focusing on the implications of these findings; drawing on examples of good practice from the UK, Netherland and Malta to provide recommendations for practice and service development.
    • A concept analysis of the term migrant women in the context of pregnancy

      Balaam, M-C.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Parízková, A.; Weckend, M.J.; Fleming, V.; Roosalu, T.; Vržina, S.S. (2017)
      Aim - This paper explores the concept of migrant women as used in European healthcare literature in context of pregnancy to provide a clearer understanding of the concept for use in research and service delivery. Methods- Walker and Avant's method of concept analysis. Results - The literature demonstrates ambiguity around the concept; most papers do not provide an explicit or detailed definition of the concept. They include the basic idea that women have moved from an identifiable region/country to the country in which the research is undertaken but fail to acknowledge adequately the heterogeneity of migrant women. The paper provides a definition of the concept as a descriptive theory and argues that research must include a clear definition of the migrant specific demographics of the women. This should include country/region of origin and host, status within the legal system of host country, type of migration experience, and length of residence. Conclusion - There is a need for a more systematic conceptualization of the idea of migrant women within European literature related to pregnancy experiences and outcomes to reflect the heterogeneity of this concept. To this end, the schema suggested in this paper should be adopted in future research.
    • A systematic review to identify key elements of effective public health interventions that address barriers to health services for refugees

      Jallow, M.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Hargan, Jae; Balaam, M-C. (Springer, 2021)
      Aim: Refugees often face barriers to accessing health services, especially after resettlement. The aim of this study is to identify key elements of effective public health interventions that address barriers to health services for refugees. Methods: Key online databases were searched to identify studies published between 2010 and 2019. Six studies met the inclusion criteria: two qualitative, one quantitative and three mixed-methods studies. An adapted narrative synthesis framework was used which included thematic analysis for systematic reviews. Results: Five themes were identified: peer support, translation services, accessible intervention, health education and a multidisciplinary approach. Conclusion: These key elements identified from this review could be incorporated into public health interventions to support refugees’ access to health services. They could be useful for services targeting refugees generally, but also supporting services targeting refugee resettlement programmes such as the Syrian resettled refugees in the UK. Future research is needed to evaluate the impact of public health interventions where these elements have been integrated into the intervention.