Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The linkage of social exclusion and poor mental health in minority Asian groups in Britain and America

an article by Sue Holttum (Based at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK) published in Mental Health and Social Inclusion Volume 17 Issue 1 (2013)


This Research Watch aims to summarise two recent research papers on social exclusion and mental health within minority Asian population groups in the UK and USA.

A search was carried out for research papers with a mental health and social inclusion focus published within the past 12 months.

The first paper summarises 12 recent research papers on the experience of British South Asians of accessing health care for long term physical conditions and depression. Gaining access to health care was a complex process of negotiation between those seeking it and health service representatives. This process was hampered by lack of fit between patients’ and clinicians’ cultural context and understandings. The second paper summarises 14 questionnaire-based research studies of the relationship between discrimination experiences and mental and physical health in Asian Americans, finding significant links between discrimination and mental and physical health.

The first paper’s authors used recently developed, rigorous methods of summarising findings from multiple interview and focus group studies, arriving at a new understanding of the processes experienced by British South Asians when accessing services for health conditions, including depression. The second paper extends existing knowledge about links between discrimination and poor physical and mental health in American minority groups to Asian Americans, a group relatively overlooked hitherto.

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