Conducting Ethical Research with People from Asylum Seeker and Refugee Backgrounds

  • Anna ZierschEmail author
  • Clemence Due
  • Kathy Arthurson
  • Nicole Loehr
Reference work entry


This chapter outlines issues to be considered when working on health and other research with people from asylum seeker or refugee backgrounds in countries of resettlement. The chapter highlights the utility of a Social Determinants of Health framework and outlines the importance of ethical research, which balances the considerations of formal ethics committees by ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable people within this population are able to be heard. In addition, the chapter highlights the need to facilitate the full participation of people with asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds, including in the governance structures of the research project and initial research design, in order to ensure that the outcomes of the research are relevant and address community needs and concerns. The chapter also outlines appropriate methodologies, including emerging and innovative research methods such as visual scales, photovoice, photolanguage, and digital storytelling, as well as discussing the ways in which these data collection methods contribute to high quality quantitative and qualitative data. Finally, the chapter also covers the challenges of working cross-culturally such as the use of standardized scales and interpreting and translation, and the need to ensure that research is culturally appropriate, consultative, and meaningful.


Refugee Asylum seeker Social determinants of health Participatory approaches Ethics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Ziersch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Clemence Due
    • 1
  • Kathy Arthurson
    • 1
  • Nicole Loehr
    • 2
  1. 1.Southgate Institute for Health, Society and EquityFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.School of Social and Policy StudiesFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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