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Immigrant women's perceptions and experiences of health care services: insights from a focus group study

Wahrnehmungen und Erfahrungen von Migrantinnen mit dem Gesundheitswesen in Portugal: Erkenntnisse aus einer Fokus-Gruppen-Studie
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Dias, Sónia; Gama, Ana; Rocha, Cristianne

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Abstract Aim: This study aimed to describe perceptions and experiences related to access and utilization of health care services of African and Brazilian immigrant women in Portugal. Subjects and methods: Six focus groups were conducted with 35 African and Brazilian women with low income and living in Lisbon, chosen through purposive sampling. Content analysis was undertaken through identification of themes and categories. Results: African and Brazilian women expressed different perceptions and patterns of use of health care services. Most participants pointed out several barriers to access and utilization of services related to legal issues, economic constraints or health professionals' attitudes. Conclusion: These results highlight the challenges to providing health care within a multicultural setting and the need to assure the provision of integrated and comprehensive health care services. Improving access to general health care is essential in order to minimize disadvantages from vulnerable subgroups, like immigrant women. Supporting better integration into the health system may lead to improved health outcomes.
Keywords Portugal; health care delivery system; migrant; woman; African; immigration; sociocultural factors; socioeconomic factors; perception; experience; comparison; attitude; health; illness; benchmarking; discrimination
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Health Policy
Method empirical; qualitative empirical; quantitative empirical
Free Keywords Immigrant women; Perceptions; Experiences; Access and utilization of health care services
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 489-496
Journal Journal of Public Health, 18 (2010) 5
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)