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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9739-9759; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909739

Patient Experienced Continuity of Care in the Psychiatric Healthcare System—A Study Including Immigrants, Refugees and Ethnic Danes

1
The Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health (MESU), Section for Health Services Research, Department of Public Health, Copenhagen University, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Copenhagen 1014, Denmark
2
KORA, The Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research, Købmagergade 22, Copenhagen 1150, Denmark
3
Competence Center for Transcultural Psychiatry, Psychiatric Center Ballerup, Niels Andersens Vej 65, Hellerup 2900, Denmark
4
Section of Immigrant Medicine, Department of Infectious Disease, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre Hospital, Kettegård Alle 30, Hvidovre 2650, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 17 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
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Abstract

Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate continuity of care in the psychiatric healthcare system from the perspective of patients, including vulnerable groups such as immigrants and refugees. Method: The study is based on 19 narrative interviews conducted with 15 patients with diverse migration backgrounds (immigrants, descendents, refugees, and ethnic Danes). Patients were recruited from a community psychiatric centre situated in an area with a high proportion of immigrants and refugees. Data were analysed through the lens of a theoretical framework of continuity of care in psychiatry, developed in 2004 by Joyce et al., which encompasses four domains: accessibility, individualised care, relationship base and service delivery. Results: Investigating continuity of care, we found issues of specific concern to immigrants and refugees, but also commonalities across the groups. For accessibility, areas pertinent to immigrants and refugees include lack of knowledge concerning mental illness and obligations towards children. In terms of individualised care, trauma, additional vulnerability, and taboo concerning mental illness were of specific concern. In the domain of service delivery, social services included assistance with immigration papers for immigrants and refugees. In the relationship base domain, no differences were identified. Implications for priority area: The treatment courses of patients in the psychiatric field are complex and diverse and the patient perspective of continuity of care provides important insight into the delivery of care. The study highlights the importance of person-centred care irrespective of migration background though it may be beneficial to have an awareness of areas that may be of more specific concern to immigrants and refugees. Conclusions: The study sheds light on concerns specific to immigrants and refugees in a framework of continuity of care, but also commonalities across the patient groups. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychiatry; mental illness; migration; immigrants; refugees; health care system; continuity of care; illness narratives psychiatry; mental illness; migration; immigrants; refugees; health care system; continuity of care; illness narratives
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jensen, N.K.; Johansen, K.S.; Kastrup, M.; Krasnik, A.; Norredam, M. Patient Experienced Continuity of Care in the Psychiatric Healthcare System—A Study Including Immigrants, Refugees and Ethnic Danes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 9739-9759.

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