233191 Still in Africa: The process of interviewing recently resettled refugees in Greensboro, NC

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Holly C. Sienkiewicz, MA , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Kelly Mauceri, BS , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Emma Catherine Howell, BA , Department of Romance Languages, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Jack A. Tyler, BA , UNCG School of Human Environmental Sciences, The Center for New North Carolinians, Greensboro, NC
Jessica Garnett, BA , Department of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Daniel L. Bibeau, PhD , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Background: The US continues to accept an increasing number of French-speaking African refugees for resettlement each year. Researchers and practitioners need to understand the context surrounding the refugees' migration and identify post-migration needs in order to assist with the provision of adequate and culturally appropriate services. This presentation describes challenges faced when conducting a qualitative, community-based participatory research study with this population. Methods: Ten French-speaking African refugees consented to interviews for a participation rate of 77 percent. Eligible participants lived in the US for less than three years and were at least 21 years old. Challenges were identified via direct observation, field notes, and research team discussions. Additional tribulations were identified during data transcription and analysis. Results: Cultural, environmental, logistical, and translational challenges arose while interviewing this population. Cultural and environmental challenges included differences in the concept of time; distrust of recording devices, and infants and young children present in the interview environment. Logistical and translational challenges included the inability to contact participants due to exhausted pay-by-the-minute plans, and the use of multiple languages throughout the interview. Discussion: Possible explanations for the challenges such as non-western notions of time, collective living environments, and previous government persecution will be discussed. We believe the challenges are not unique to the current sample and may be generalized to other French-speaking African refugee populations. It is our hope that these findings will assist other researchers embarking on future research with this population. Strategies to deal effectively with these challenges will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. List three challenges when interviewing French-speaking refugees of African descent. 2. Explain two strategies for maintaining contact with this population.

Keywords: Research, Refugees

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student studying refugees and have taught acculturation classes to this population for the past two years. I am familiar with the cultural differences that exist between native born Americans and French-speaking refugees of African descent.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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