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Title: An exploratory study of bilingual health advocates experiences of working with psychologists and clients with mental health difficulties within a therapeutic context
Author: Lynch, Pamela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 0030
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2006
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Britain today is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society. In order to provide an equitable service to non-English speaking service users, the provision of language support is essential, and bilingual health advocates are often used to fulfil this role. However, the role of the bilingual health advocate extends further than simple language interpretation - they also seek to support and empower service users, and this makes their role somewhat unique. To date, little thought has been given to the psychological impact of working as a bilingual health advocate, and thus, the present study aimed to redress this imbalance by examining the experiences of seven bilingual health advocates working within a single service. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the advocates and the data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (DPA). Four superordinate themes emerged which related to the advocacy role, the challenges the advocates faced, how these challenges were managed, and the wider impact of the work that the advocates do. The findings of the research indicated that working with clients who are in distress was emotionally challenging for all the bilingual health advocates. Equally challenging, however, were service related issues, and the way in which the advocates perceived themselves to be viewed by other health professionals. The advocates reported that these latter factors had as much of a detrimental impact on their emotional wellbeing, as their direct work with service users. A need for additional emotional and practical support was identified, and the implications of the research findings for both clinical practice and future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available