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What are the occupational experiences of adult asylum seekers living in direct provision in Ireland?
O'Brien, Laura
Background Asylum seekers in Ireland are required to live in State provided hostel type accommodation called Direct Provision. The system of Direct Provision places a number of restrictions on the lives of asylum seekers; they are not permitted to cook, to work or to access third level education and are expected to live on limited finances. This denies asylum seekers opportunities to engage in meaningful occupations of their choice. Objectives The research aimed to understand the occupational experiences of asylum seekers living in Direct Provision and to explore the potential risk of occupational deprivation. Methods A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews was chosen to explore and gain an understanding of asylum seekers experiences of living in Direct Provision. Interviews were analysed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six stages of thematic analysis informed by phenomenology to gain an insider’s perspective. Results Four main themes emerged that captured the occupational experiences of asylum seekers; restricted environment, restricted occupational performance, impact of occupational deprivation on health and wellbeing and coping through doing and cognitive strategies. Conclusion This study reveals how vulnerable asylum seekers are to occupational deprivation because they are denied access to occupation participation over an extended period of time, with negative consequences on health and wellbeing. Occupational therapy with its emphasises on the importance of engaging in meaningful occupations has a vital role in approving the daily lives of asylum seekers through both intervention and raising awareness of the needs of asylum seekers at a broader social and political level.
Keyword(s): occupational therapy; Ireland; asylum seekers
Publication Date:
Type: Master thesis (research)
Peer-Reviewed: No
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Publisher(s): University of Limerick
First Indexed: 2014-09-25 05:35:50 Last Updated: 2015-11-04 05:30:37