Health, health care and psychosocial well-being

ACCESS - Equitable substance use treatment for Migrants and ethnic minorities: a policy analysis

Description: Varying migrant and ethnic minorities (MEM) should be entitled to equitable substance use treatment (SUT) compared to non-MEM populations. In the absence of an established research domain, this study first aims at building a strong theoretical basis. This basis includes reflections on MEM substance user and provider experiences, the cultural competence discourse, MEM substance use prevalence from a social epidemiological perspective, MEM SUT need, demand and offer in the EU and Belgium. The empirical case studies whether and how Flemish substance use treatment policy aims at achieving access, removing barriers, creating responsive services and considering social determinants. This analysis is informed by an ecosocial and social recovery perspective. In concert with a parallel PhD study on MEM experiences (Aline Pouille), this project aims at treatment and policy recommendations.
Promoter(s): Tom Decorte, Wouter Vanderplasschen, Torsten Kolind
Researcher(s): Charlotte De Kock
Department / Research group: Institute for Social Drug Research - Department of Criminology, criminal law and social law
Faculty: Faculty of Law and Criminology

Equity and vulnerable populuations in primary health care

Description: One of the determinants of inequity in health within society, is the differential access to care and treatment of the patient within the health care system. This doctoral thesis focusses on vulnerable populations, their access to care, their experience of the care process and its outcomes. Following themes are dealt with: Do patients experience discrimination and are their certain groups that feel more discriminated? How do ethnic minorities score on indicators of access to care, the quality of the care process and their outcomes? Do patients with a specific disease burden receive appropriate care? How is the situation for particular vulnerable groups? These questions are answered by both quantitative and qualitative data. We made use of QUALICOPC-database (Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe). Also, new data was collected through in-depth interviews with Roma and questionnaires for detainees.
Promoter(s): Sara Willems, Ignaas Devisch
Researcher(s): Lise Hanssens
Department / Research group: Family Medicine and Primary Health Care
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Language barriers and multilingualism in sexual and reproductive healthcare: A linguistic ethnography of an abortion clinic

Description: This PhD project comprises a linguistic ethnographic study of an abortion clinic in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. The aim is to obtain insights into the various ways multilingualism and language barriers come into play in this particular setting. In doing so, it looks at the use of (non-professional) interpreters and their performances during abortion consultations, and the use of other strategies (e.g. Google Translate, multilingual websites, linguae francae), while also taking into account institutional language policies, discourses, translation practices, and viewpoints on linguistic diversity. The project seeks to gain understanding of the discursive and interactional nature of multilingual abortion consultations, as well as to examine the various ways in which language in the clinic is connected with access to information and services.
Promoter(s): July De Wilde
Researcher(s): Ella van Hest
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2019 - 2023

MATREMI – Mapping and enhancing substance use treatment for migrants & ethnic minorities

Description: The MATREMI project (2019) focused on two shortcomings in the current literature and policy regarding migrants and ethnic minorities (MEM) in substance use treatment (SUT). Firs, the MATREMI project contributed to the more adequate registration of the presence of MEM clients in drug treatment to inform policy making (objective 1) and secondly, gathered the existing Belgian literature (2009-2019) and promising practices (aimed at the reach and retention of and the accessibility for [potential] MEM clients in SUT) in a comprehensive guide for proffesionals (objective 2). The MATREMI project was subsidized by the Federal Science Policy (BELSPO) and builds on the findings from the ZEMIV (2008) and PADUMI (2017) research projects. This project resulted in policy recommendations.
Promoter(s): Tom Decorte, Wouter Vanderplasschen, Torsten Kolind
Researcher(s): Charlotte De Kock, Carla Marscia
Department / Research group: Institute for Social Drug Research - Department of Criminology, criminal law and social law
Faculty: Faculty of Law and Criminology

RECMIB - Substance use recovery of persons with a migration background: an analysis of lived experiences

Description: Research shows that persons with a migration background and ethnic minorities (MEM) are confronted with various risk factors that increase their vulnerability for problematic substance use and may hamper recovery. Despite the indications that recovery has a cultural dimension and that (substance use) treatment does not always seem to succeed in meeting the needs of MEM, there is hardly any research on personal recovery experiences and needs of MEM. This study therefor explores the recovery experiences of a diversity of MEM, to gain insight into their recovery resources, needs and barriers to recovery on a personal, social and community level. Based on the study findings, recommendations for policy and practice will be formulated, in association with Charlotte De Kock, in order to facilitate the development of recovery-oriented systems of care for MEM.
Promoter(s): Vanderplasschen Wouter, Freya Vander Laenen
Researcher(s): Aline Pouille
Department / Research group: Special Needs Education (Recovery and Addiction)
Faculty: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

Returning home: A mixed-methods study on the relationship between repatriates' social capital and their psychological well-being

Description: The research aims to contribute to the knowledge on the re-entry experience of repatriates, more specifically Belgian repatriates (i.e. Belgians who lived abroad but who now are living back in Belgium). The study focusses mainly on the support network of the repatriates in order to explain the repatriation experiences. Next to this, both their expat and cultural identity are included in the story. The research applies both qualitative and quantitative methods
Promoter(s): Peter Stevens, Smaranda Boros
Researcher(s): Lore Van Gorp
Department / Research group: Department of Sociology
Faculty: Faculty of Political and Social Sciences

UN-MENAMAIS: towards a better understanding of the mechanisms, nature, magnitude and impact of sexual violence in Belgium

Description: "Sexual violence is a major public health, judicial and societal concern in Belgium. UN-MENAMAIS aims to: Objective 1) Map how citizens and migrant residents - including applicants of international protection- in Belgium, aged 16 -100 years, with different sexual orientations, frame sexual violence. Objective 2) Explore to what extent the research population has been subjected to sexual violence or has perpetrated sexual violence since childhood. Objective 3) Map indicatory pathways of how this exposure impacted the lives of victims, their family and peers and professionals they contacted for assistance. Objective 4) Evaluate the forensic sexual assault practices performed by professionals. Objective 5) Formulate recommendations for future policies and practices and provide sensitization scripts. UN-MENAMAIS applies a mixed method approach and runs until April 2021. It is funded by BELSPO (BRAIN). "
Promoter(s): Ines Keygnaert, Tom Vanderbeken
Researcher(s): Lotte De Schrijver
Department / Research group: Public Health and Primary Care
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Uncertainty in the context of conflict, displacement and encampment

Description: This project consist of a qualitative longitudinal study, in which 30 South Sudanese youngsters living in the Adjumani refugee camp (northern Uganda) are followed over a period of 2 years. Qualitative interviews in combination with visual approaches (photography, video, drawings) are used to understand how youngsters experience and deal with uncertainty in everyday life and in future. These engagements with the youngsters are completed with interviews with policy actors and aid workers, and extensive observations of daily life in the refugee setting. This project aims to gain a better understanding of youngster’s everyday experiences of uncertainty, and how these experiences relate to the social and political context of the refugee camp. In gaining insight in what a camp is and what kind of lives and experiences can unfold within it, this study aims to develop a critical reflection on camps and, ultimately, on the ways in which we are dealing with migration and refugees today.
Promoter(s): Wouter Vanderplasschen, Ilse Derluyn, Sofie Vindevogel
Researcher(s): Julie Schiltz
Department / Research group: Department of Special Needs Education
Faculty: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences