Gracia Mabaya

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Susan L Ray


This study aimed at understanding the meaning of health and the help seeking behaviours, pre and post migration, of refugees who have experienced collective violence in their countries of origin. An interpretative phenomenological approach with a purposive sample of three men and three women was used. Prior to migration, the participants’ meaning of health was deeply influenced by their experience of collective violence, which rendered their embodied experience of life as non-existent and meaningless. Access to health care was limited by the unavailability of sound medical infrastructures and lack of finances. Post migration, the perception of their health and help seeking behaviours continued to be deeply influenced by their past lived experience of collective violence. Participants call for a system that offers well-established interpretation and mental health services for refugees who have experienced collective violence in their country of origin.



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