Att vara invandrare och patient i Sverige
Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on immigrants in Sweden. What experiences from the meeting with Swedish society do immigrants have and what meaning does the immigrant background have when they have been patients within the Swedish health and medical service? Former research about patients with an immigrant background can be divided into two perspectives. One which illuminates ethnically demarcated immigrant groups and specific needs. The other perspective has an individually adopted approach independently of the patients’ ethnical background. Here it is mainly the communication problems that are stressed, since these make it hard to understand the individual’s needs. The two empirical studies of the thesis start from an individualised perspective, a life world perspective. Research data have been collected through open interviews. The overall purpose was to develop a deepened understanding of what it means to live as an immigrant in Sweden and receive care. The aim of the pre-study was to examine immigrants’ experiences of participation in municipal home care. In the main study the overall purpose was used and two research questions were asked: What do persons with an immigrant background have to tell us about their situation in Swedish society? How does the situation as an immigrant in Sweden influence the experience of being a patient in Swedish health and medical care? The pre-study shows that participation means making demands and meeting caregivers who view the patient as an actor with the right to make his or her own decisions. One important postulate seems to be access to a good interpreter. To refrain from participation seems to be about adopting a passive attitude as a patient. It seems as if it is the caregivers who are the active ones and the ones setting the standards for the contents of the care. To experience not being invited to participation mainly seems to originate from the fact that the interviewees could neither understand nor make themselves understood. One consequence is that patients are just looked upon as carriers of a symptom. The main study shows that the interviewees’ existential existence as patients involves the whole life situation. Different forms of unsurmountable difficulties might reinforce each other. The ambition to establish oneself in a new home country might therefore be passivised. For patients with immigrant background earlier experiences from exposed situations seem to influence how the patients feel about their treatment. The additional knowledge is that problems seem to reinforce each other. Patients with an immigrant background must be treated as individuals. Every individual’s story has to be made visible. The thesis shows that caregivers ought to endeavour to understand the individual. To encourage dialogue, despite language problems, is of importance for the patient to be able to express his or her needs. The use of an interpreter may have a positive influence on these patients’ possibilities to exert an influence. This means that caregivers who consult an interpreter should build up their competence to communicate through an interpreter.
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