Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Narratives of health-seeking among unwell Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in south eastern Melbourne

Sophia Samuel , Grant Russell , Jenny Advocat


Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are among the largest group of refugees to resettle in Australia in the last decade. We aimed to characterise the narratives of health-seeking behaviours among unwell Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Melbourne, Australia.. Drawing on a qualitative, phenomenological perspective, we conducted in-depth interviews in Tamil and English with twelve participants who identified as being unwell for six months or more. Findings revealed three themes narratives of health-seeking behaviour: the search for the ‘good life’ that was lost or never experienced, seeking help from familiar channels in an unfamiliar context, and the desire for financial and occupational independence. These three themes narratives are encompassed by an overarching theme undergirded by the metanarrative of a hope-filled recovery. These narratives of Tamil refugees’ lived experience provide new insights into clinical care and health service delivery.

PY17033  Accepted 31 August 2017

© La Trobe University 2017