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Abstract Jeyna Sow (2021)

Refugee children are at increased risk of developing psychosocial problems. Due to the complexity of these problems integrative and person-centred primary health care is essential. Such broad approach which involves various domains and professionals requires adequate interprofessional collaboration. A shared understanding or common ground is considered important in collaboration. Cultural factors inevitably play a role in this since definitions, concepts, feelings and expressions of mental health problems are culturally shaped. This study aims to explore how, and if, social and healthcare professionals integrate various cultural backgrounds, both from their own professional field as from the refugees they work with, to reach a shared understanding. We conducted 11 interviews with social and healthcare professionals working with refugee children. Data were inductively coded, starting with open coding, followed by list coding. Professionals have several ways to build common ground with their refugee patient, such as making adjustments in communication styles and techniques, and visualizing family contexts. Working culturally sensitive also came out as a facilitating factor for building common ground with refugee patients. Language barriers were experienced as a hindering factor in creating a shared understanding. In interprofessional collaboration, professionals’ openness about variations in views of mental health problems was seen as facilitator for building common ground in interprofessional collaboration. Professionals’ negative attitudes towards refugees were seen as a barrier for building common ground in interprofessional collaboration. These results may have important implications for the enhancement of health care for refugee children and minors, as well as for interprofessional collaboration.

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