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The value and meaning of a community centre service for refugees and asylum seekers: culture, collectivism and application for occupational therapy practice

Spring, Hannah, Howlett, Fiona and Connor, Claire (2018) The value and meaning of a community centre service for refugees and asylum seekers: culture, collectivism and application for occupational therapy practice. In: World Federation of Occupational Therapists, 22nd May 2018, Cape Town International Convention Centre: Cape Town, South Africa. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Introduction: Asylum seekers and refugees experience substantial barriers to
successful transition and inclusion in a new society. The cultural value and meaning
of occupation differs between East and West, increasing a sense of dislocation in
society. Access to meaningful occupations that provide a sense of well-being are
often limited and occupational injustices are common. Exploring the meaning of
occupational preferences offers insights into the impact of relocation on asylum
seekers and refugees’ wellbeing and integration into the host society. This research
focussed on a UK based community service offering opportunities for occupational
engagement and practical support.
Objectives: To explore and evaluate the value and meaning of a community centre
for refugees and asylum seekers.
To identify the occupational preferences of the community centre users.
Method: A phenomenological approach was employed, using semi-structured
interviews with refugees and asylum seekers attending a UK based community
centre service. 18 people participated from ten countries. Data were analysed using
interpretive phenomenological analysis.
Findings: Occupational preferences centred around community and were strongly
motivated by altruism, productivity and integration. Integration with the host nation
whilst maintaining culturally specific links was valued. Women and children were
identified as being at greater risk of occupational alienation.
Conclusion: Collectivist cultures exert great influence on occupational preferences
and motivation. Community and altruism have profound cultural meaning for asylum
seekers and refugees and the need to belong and to contribute is paramount.
Occupational therapists should use culturally relevant models when working with this
group to achieve occupational engagement and social inclusion

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > RM695 Physical therapy. Occupational therapy
School/Department: School of Health Sciences
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3184

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