BME feasibility and ethnographic study on perceptions of health

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract / Description of output

General Findings:
• The Southside of Glasgow encapsulates Scotland’s ethnic diversity – various minority ethnic groups are settling and integrating at different rates.
• It is difficult to manage the emotions and politicisation of inequalities.
• Some minority ethnic community members feel provoked that certain services are not in their best interest.
• Barriers for these groups include language differences; skills and qualification gaps; lack of confidence and poor self-esteem; little understanding of systems in Scotland; depression; isolation; anger caused by financial problems; poor housing; poor access to services; and unemployment.
• Some minority ethnic community members recognise the link between unemployment and health.
• Relative happiness appears to be ultimate goal for many migrants – they mostly want menial jobs, but some employers are unwilling to hire them.
• Stigma was identified as one of the greatest challenges for minority ethnic community members, who resent that they are treated and labelled the same despite being different.
• In particular, differences between Slovakian Roma and Romanian Roma need to be recognised.
• There is a general lack of integration between minority ethnic groups in the Southside.
• For this research project, Pakistanis, who are the most settled, were much easier to engage with.
• All Pakistanis involved in the research spoke English, were approachable and had Scottish friends.
• It was relatively easy to meet and build relationships with Pakistani community champions. They helped set up focus groups with community members and took the researcher to shisha cafes for ethnographic purposes.
• Pakistani shopkeepers and managers allowed the researcher to speak to customers and introduced her to people in the community.
• The Polish are becoming more settled too.
• Most Poles involved in this research project spoke English, although some were less fluent than others. They all knew community members who did not speak English at all.
• Polish shopkeepers were engaging and helpful and local community champions relatively easy to meet.
• Polish local champions helped set up focus groups with their friends and family members and stayed in touch.
• Cash incentives for focus group attendees may have been a contributing factor to some community members’ willingness to engage.
• The Slovakian Roma are not as settled as the Polish but some, especially the younger generation, appear to be more integrated than their elders.
• Only a few Slovakian Roma involved in this research spoke English.
• Most of the ethnography and interviewing with this group was conducted through a community organisation with access to translators.
• A spontaneous focus group with Slovakian Roma took place in a local library,where groups of young Slovakians often gather.i
• The Romanian Roma were the most difficult group to engage with.
• Even when it felt appropriate to start conversations with Romanian Roma community members in local shops, none of the adults could speak fluent English.
• The researcher was able to speak to people from this community by building relationships with social workers, who allowed her to go with them on house visits accompanied by translators.
• The Slovakian Roma and Romanian Roma were reluctant to have their voicesrecorded.
• The Romanian Roma in particular struggled to understand the concept of‘informed consent’.
• This raised questions about the ethics of providing details of communitymembers who agreed to be local champions, as English is not their firstlanguage.
• Several representatives from community organisations were reluctant to beidentified, and noted that bureaucratic procedures restricted the extent towhich they personally could be involved in future work with the NHS.
• Several community organisations that were contacted for involvement in the research did not respond to communications.
• Some community organisations did not deliver on their promises, while others were extremely helpful throughout the research process and introduced the researcher to community members.
• Issues such as smoking, alcohol, addiction, general health and trust should not be considered or tackled in isolation using a siloed approach.
• Other health outcomes and determinants of health may emerge by working with minority ethnic communities. These may be different to the one initially under investigation.
• Using asset-based approaches and co-production effectively and genuine engagement with communities through local champions were identified as priority areas for organisations.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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