Primary health care nurses' conceptions of involuntarily migrated families' health

Kerstin Samarasinghe, B. Fridlund, B. Arvidsson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Involuntary migration and adaptation to a new cultural environment is known to be a factor of psychological stress. Primary Health Care Nurses (PHCNs) frequently interact with refugee families as migrant health needs are mainly managed within Primary Health Care.

    Aim: To describe the health of the involuntary migrated family in transition as conceptualized by Swedish PHCNs.

     Method: Thirty-four PHCNs from two municipalities in Sweden were interviewed and phenomenographical contextual analysis was used in analysing the data.

     Findings: Four family profiles were created, each epitomizing the health characteristics of a migrated family in transition: (1) a mentally distressed family wedged in the asylum-seeking process, (2) an insecure family with immigrant status, (3) a family with internal instability and segregated from  society, and (4) a stable and wellfunctioning family integrated in society. Contextual socio-environmental stressors such as living in uncertainty awaiting asylum, having unprocessed traumas, change of family roles, attitudes of the host country and social segregation within society were found to be detrimental to the well-being of the family.

     Conclusion: Acceptance and a clear place in society as well as clearly defined family roles are crucial in facilitating a healthy transition for refugee families. Primary Health Care Nursing can facilitate this by adopting a family system perspective in strengthening the identity of the families and reducing the effects of socio-environmental stressors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)301-307
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Nursing Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Nursing (30305)


    • Family
    • Involuntary Migration
    • Nursing
    • Phenomenography
    • Primary Health Care
    • Sweden
    • Transition


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