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Health Expect. 2016 Apr;19(2):416-26. doi: 10.1111/hex.12365. Epub 2015 Apr 6.

A qualitative exploration of the impact of the economic recession in Spain on working, living and health conditions: reflections based on immigrant workers' experiences.

Author information

1
Center for Research in Occupational Health (Cisal), Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain.
2
Public Health Research Group, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain.
3
CIBERESP, Madrid, Spain.
4
Department of General and Specialized Nursing, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.
5
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.
6
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study aimed to analyse how immigrant workers in Spain experienced changes in their working and employment conditions brought about Spain's economic recession and the impact of these changes on their living conditions and health status.

METHOD:

We conducted a grounded theory study. Data were obtained through six focus group discussions with immigrant workers (n = 44) from Colombia, Ecuador and Morocco, and two individual interviews with key informants from Romania living in Spain, selected by theoretical sample.

RESULTS:

Three categories related to the crisis emerged--previous labour experiences, employment consequences and individual consequences--that show how immigrant workers in Spain (i) understand the change in employment and working conditions conditioned by their experiences in the period prior to the crisis, and (ii) experienced the deterioration in their quality of life and health as consequences of the worsening of employment and working conditions during times of economic recession.

CONCLUSION:

The negative impact of the financial crisis on immigrant workers may increase their social vulnerability, potentially leading to the failure of their migratory project and a return to their home countries. Policy makers should take measures to minimize the negative impact of economic crisis on the occupational health of migrant workers in order to strengthen social protection and promote health and well-being.

KEYWORDS:

Immigrant workers; economic recession; grounded theory; health; occupational health; qualitative; unemployment

PMID:
25846581
PMCID:
PMC5055259
DOI:
10.1111/hex.12365
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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