Past research has shown that migrants can face multiple obstacles in accessing healthcare, including communication and cultural barriers as well as discrimination. Refugees and asylum seekers may face additional challenges related to limited resources and lack of social support. In maternity care specifically, migrant women’s experiences may conflict with cultural beliefs and practices surrounding childbirth. However, few studies focus explicitly on refugees and asylum seekers’ maternity care experiences in the UK.
How do the maternity care experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in England and Wales differ from those of other maternity care service users?
I aim to document these experiences through a mixed methods research project. The quantitative component of my project will aim to compare refugees and asylum seekers’ maternity care experiences with the general population using linked anonymised data. In other words, multiple datasets will be combined to provide a larger picture of patients’ maternity care experiences and different subgroups will be compared to identify possible inequalities. The qualitative component of my research will aim to enrich these findings through interviews with refugees and asylum seekers regarding their maternity care experiences.
This research aims to inform future intervention and policy to improve health care services for vulnerable migrant populations. Furthermore, it will contribute to reflections concerning the availability of data on refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and the feasibility of dataset linkage to analyse this population.