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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101215

The Role of the Social Network in Access to Psychosocial Services for Migrant Elderly—A Qualitative Study

1
Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam, 1012 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Kenniscentrum Sociale Innovatie, Lectoraat Toegang tot het Recht, Hogeschool Utrecht, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 October 2017 / Published: 11 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Key Issues in Current Health Research: Ageing–Health–Equity)
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Abstract

Abstract: Background: Despite high prevalence of mental problems among elderly migrants in The Netherlands, the use of psychosocial care services by this group is low. Scientific evidence points at the crucial role of social support for mental health and the use of psychosocial services. We therefore explored the role of social networks in the access to psychosocial care among elderly migrants in The Netherlands. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using semi-structured group interviews and individual interviews. The eight group and eleven individual interviews (respectively n = 58 and n = 11) were conducted in The Netherlands with Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese, and Dutch elderly. The data were analysed through coding and comparing fragments and recognizing patterns. Results: Support of the social network is important to navigate to psychosocial care and is most frequently provided by children. However, the social network of elderly migrants is generally not able to meet the needs of the elderly. This is mostly due to poor mental health literacy of the social network, taboo, and stigma around mental illness and the busy lives of the social network members. Conclusions: Strategies to address help-seeking barriers should consider mental health literacy in elderly migrants as well as their social networks, and counteract taboos and stigma of mental health problems. View Full-Text
Keywords: ageing and diversity; access to health services; diversity health care provision; social network; ethnic minority; elderly migrants; health equity ageing and diversity; access to health services; diversity health care provision; social network; ethnic minority; elderly migrants; health equity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Schoenmakers, D.; Lamkaddem, M.; Suurmond, J. The Role of the Social Network in Access to Psychosocial Services for Migrant Elderly—A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1215.

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