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Migrant health situation when detained in European immigration detention centres: a synthesis of extant qualitative literature

Van Hout, MC, Lungu-Byrne, C and Germain, J (2020) Migrant health situation when detained in European immigration detention centres: a synthesis of extant qualitative literature. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 16 (3). pp. 221-236. ISSN 1744-9200

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Purpose Many migrants are detained in Europe not because they have committed a crime but because of lack of certainty over their immigration status. Whilst generally in good physical health on entry to Europe, migrant detainees have complex health needs, often related to mental health. Very little is known about the current health situation and health care needs of migrants when detained in European immigration detention settings. Design/methodology/approach We undertook a synthesis of extant qualitative literature on migrant health experience and health situation when detained in European immigration detention settings; retrieved as part of a large scale scoping review. Included records (n=4) from Sweden and the United Kingdom representing both detainee and staff experiences were charted, synthesised and thematically analysed. Findings Three themes emerged from the analysis: ‘Conditions in immigration detention settings’; ‘Uncertainties and communication barriers’ and ‘Considerations of migrant detainee health’. Conditions were described as inhumane, resembling prison, and underpinned by communication difficulties, lack of adequate nutrition and responsive health care. Practical implications. It is crucial that the experiences underpinning migration are understood in order to respond to the health needs of migrants, uphold their health rights and to ensure equitable access to healthcare in immigration detention settings. Originality/value There is a dearth of qualitative research in this area due to the difficulty of access to immigration detention settings for migrants. We highlight the critical need for further investigation of migrant health needs, so as to inform appropriate staff support and health service responses

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The AAM is deposited under the above licence and any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence. To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting permissions@emeraldinsight.com.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health and Health Services, 1602 Criminology, 1605 Policy and Administration
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Emerald
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 11:10
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 07:32
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12647
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