Undocumented migrants' life situations: an exploratory analysis of quality of life and living conditions in a sample of undocumented migrants living in Norway
Aims and objectives:To gather insight in conditions important to an understanding of undocumented migrants’ life situations and more specifically to explore undocumented migrants’ quality of life and how we can understand the various domains of quality of life related to demographics, living conditions, migration history and inflicted burden. Background:Undocumented migrants suffer from economic hardship and acculturative stress, limited psychological and social support and at the same time restricted access to health care and social welfare. Design: An exploratory mixed methods design using primarily quantitative data with a qualitative component was implemented. Methods: Sociodemographic data on 90 undocumented migrants were collected, and self‐report questionnaires on quality of life and psychological distress were completed, supplemented by qualitative data obtained through interviews and additional qualitative questions. The STROBE checklist for cross‐sectional studies was used for reporting this study. Results: Quality of life in our group of undocumented migrants was poor. Leaving their home country because of war or persecution, hunger, having experienced abuse, homelessness and higher age were statistically significantly associated with poorer quality of life. Having membership in a local association and having a partner were statistically significantly associated with better quality of life. Qualitative data indicate that marginal living conditions, fear of death and suffering and conditions associated with dependency were the main components comprising the burden to our respondents, reflecting their precarious juridical status as undocumented migrants. Conclusion: Our respondents’ poor quality of life was related to the complex interplay between possible exposures to traumatic experiences before and during flight and post‐migration traumatisation in relation to our respondents’ experiences of economic, social and acculturative hardship in Norway. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Responses called for to improve undocumented migrants’ quality of life and eliminate barriers to their health care appeal more to nurses as a professional group and to those in positions of authority than each individual nurse on duty.
Småstuen, Milada Cvancarova