Healthcare provision inside immigration removal centres. A social identity analysis of trust, legitimacy and disengagement

Kellezi, B. ORCID: 0000-0003-4825-3624, Wakefield, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-9155-9683, Bowe, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-0491-1472, Stevenson, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-2438-6425 and McNamara, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-3123-3678, 2021. Healthcare provision inside immigration removal centres. A social identity analysis of trust, legitimacy and disengagement. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. ISSN 1758-0846 (Forthcoming)

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Background: The stressors of immigration detention and negative host-country experiences make effective access to healthcare vital for migrant detainees, but little is known regarding the health experiences of this populations and the barriers to healthcare access.

Method: The present research investigates immigration detainees’ experiences of health-related help-seeking in the distressing and stigmatised environment of UK Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), as well as staff-members experiences of providing help. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 detainees and 21 staff and analysed using theoretical thematic analysis guided by the Social Identity Approach.

Results: The findings indicate that the practical constraints on help-provision (e.g., lack of time and resources, the unpredictable nature of detention) are exacerbated by the complex and conflictual intergroup relationships within which these helping transactions occur. These transactions are negatively affected by stigma, mutual distrust, and reputation management concerns, detainees’ feelings of powerlessness, and confusion around eligibility to receive healthcare. Some detainees argued that the help ignores the systematic inequalities associated with their detainee status, thereby making it fundamentally inappropriate and ineffective.

Conclusions: The intergroup context (of inequality and illegitimacy) shapes the quality of helping transactions, care experiences, and health service engagement in groups experiencing chronic low status, distress, and uncertainty.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Creators: Kellezi, B., Wakefield, J., Bowe, M., Stevenson, C. and McNamara, N.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Date: 8 February 2021
ISSN: 1758-0846
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 10 Feb 2021 13:34
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 13:34

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