Challenged assumptions and invisible effects: an explorative case study of a health education intervention addressing immigrants

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Camilla Lawaetz Wimmelmann, Kathrine Vitus, Signe Smith Jervelund

Purpose – The objective of this study was to examine any unanticipated effects of an educational intervention among newly arrived adult immigrants attending a language school in Denmark.
Methodology – A qualitative case study was conducted including interviews with nine informants, observations of two complete intervention courses and an analysis of the official intervention documents.

Findings – This case study exemplifies how the basic normative assumptions behind an immigrant-oriented intervention and the intrinsic power relations therein may be challenged and negotiated by the participants. In particular, the assumed (power) relations inherent in immigrant-oriented educational health interventions, in which immigrants are in a novice position, are challenged, as the immigrants are experienced adults (and parents) in regard to healthcare. The paper proposes that such unexpected conditions for the implementation—different from the assumed conditions—not only challenge the implementation of the intervention but also potentially produce unanticipated yet valuable effects.

Research implications – Newly arrived immigrants represent a hugely diverse and heterogeneous group of people with differing values and belief systems regarding health and healthcare. A more detailed study is necessary to fully understand their health seeking behaviours in the Danish context.

Originality/value – Offering newly arrived immigrants a course on health and the healthcare system as part of the mandatory language courses is a new and underexplored means of providing and improving newly arrived immigrants knowledge and use of the Danish healthcare system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care
Volume13
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
ISSN1747-9894
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 122446544