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Promoting healthy futures in a rural refugee resettlement location: A community-based participatory research intervention

Nunn, Caitlin and Wilding, Raelene and McKinnon, Katharine and Ku, Htoo Gay and Myint, Gai Porh Soe La and Taveesupmai, Posao Nido and O’Keefe, Megan and Graves, Kaye (2021) Promoting healthy futures in a rural refugee resettlement location: A community-based participatory research intervention. Journal of Sociology. ISSN 1440-7833

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Abstract

The resettlement of refugees in rural areas is presenting new challenges for healthcare. This article reports on a community-based participatory research project that explored understandings of health and care across the life course in a refugee-background community in regional south-east Australia. Participants identified key challenges, including lack of access to local services that address their complex needs and problems created by communicating across languages, cultures, and ontologies. Clear opportunities were identified for improving local health services to meet the needs of refugee-background communities. Building on participant recommendations, we argue that appropriate, high-quality healthcare requires the cultivation of dialogue and respect across different understandings of health and care. We suggest that approaches grounded in an ethos of collaboration, power-sharing and dialogue provide a way forward, not just for research, but for embedding practices of cultural safety in rural and regional resettlement.

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