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‘It’s been really, really hard’: a qualitative study of the health problems of people receiving emergency relief in Australia

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The aim of the research reported in this paper was to explore the perspectives and insights of emergency relief recipients in relation to their complex health problems, which had contributed to their position of needing to seek emergency relief. The sample consisted of 20 adults aged between 19 and 51 years who had received emergency relief in a regional city in Victoria, Australia. Non-probability sampling was used, employing the convenience sampling procedure. A qualitative, exploratory research approach utilising in-depth interviews was selected to obtain data from the respondents. The method of data analysis used involved open, axial and selective coding. The main findings were that the participants experienced abuse and neglect in childhood, the effects of mental health problems, going without food, lack of access to and the high cost of health care, and the interactive aspects of health problems and poverty. Implications for policy and service delivery are outlined.
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Keywords: access to health care; child abuse; inequalities in health and health care; mental health

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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