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A qualitative investigation of mental health in women of refugee background resettled in Tasmania, Australia


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Hawkes, C, Norris, K ORCID: 0000-0003-3661-2749, Joyce, J and Paton, D 2021 , 'A qualitative investigation of mental health in women of refugee background resettled in Tasmania, Australia' , BMC Public Health, vol. 21 , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-11934-y.

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Background: Women of Refugee Background (WoRB) are a highly vulnerable population with complex goingmental health needs following resettlement. In Australia, there has been a substantial increase in WoRB beingresettled in rural and regional locations. Despite this, no research to date has specifically focused on factorscontributing to mental distress in WoRB in regional resettlement locations. The current study aimed to address thisgap in literature.Methods: 21 semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with WoRB and service providers in regionallocations of Tasmania, Australia. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analysedutilising Braun and Clarke (Qual Res Psychol 3(2):77–101, 2006) framework for conducting thematic analysis.Results: Thematic analysis revealed that WoRB conceptualised mental health as a pathogenic entity, whichsignificantly influenced their mental health help-seeking behaviours. The findings also highlighted how resettlementto a rural and regional location of Australia may exacerbate many of the factors which contribute to ongoingmental distress in WoRB.Conclusions: The findings of the current study build upon existing research which indicates the adverse impacts postmigrations stressors can have on the mental health of individuals of refugee background. Furthermore, this studysuggests that the current services and supports available to WoRB resettled in regional locations of Australia areinadequate, and under-resources. These findings are discussed in regard to practical and policy implications whichshould be addressed to better support the mental health of WoRB resettled in rural and regional locations of Australia.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hawkes, C and Norris, K and Joyce, J and Paton, D
Keywords: women, refugee, resettlement, mental health, Australia, regional
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Public Health
Publisher: Biomed Central Ltd
ISSN: 1471-2458
DOI / ID Number: 10.1186/s12889-021-11934-y
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s). 2021 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

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