Barriers and facilitators to health and social service access and utilization for immigrant parents raising a child with a physical disability Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the barriers and facilitators to health and social service access and utilization for immigrant parents raising a child with a physical disability, in order to understand their specific needs and experiences of care. Design/methodology/approach – The research involves qualitative interviews with five immigrant parents of four children with a physical disability in two cities in Ontario, Canada. Findings – The findings indicate that divergent perceptions of health care and disability, language, knowledge of service systems, and finances may create obstacles to family-centered and culturally sensitive care. Formal supports, including a third person to navigate the system and services provided in families’ homes, are facilitators that enhance the service care experiences of parents. Practical implications – Service providers need to accommodate and work with immigrant parents who have a child with a disability to overcome the barriers to their care. To enhance service experiences formal support and home services should be provided when possible. Originality/value – There is little research on immigrant families’ experiences with pediatric rehabilitation services and this study contributes to this area. This paper shows that immigrant families of children with disabilities have barriers to service access, utilization, and service care experiences that are similar to those of non-immigrant families. There are few studies on facilitators to service access and utilization and positive experiences; therefore, this study makes a contribution to this area.

publication date

  • September 23, 2013