School nurses’ and teachers’ perceptions of pain in young immigrants living in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care. 2020, 16 (1), . 10.1108/IJMHSC-01-2019-0005
Purpose The number of adolescents experiencing pain is increasing. Pain has a major impact on several areas of daily living, such as function at school and school absenteeism, loss of appetite and socializing. One out of ten pupils in Norwegian schools is immigrants, and surveys have shown that immigrants suffer from poor health more often than the general population. The purpose of this study was to explore how school nurses and teachers experience pain in young immigrants in the school setting. Design/methodology/approach A qualitative design using focus group interviews was chosen for data collection. A total of 11 focus groups (17 school nurses and 25 teachers) consisting of school nurses and teachers in junior high schools (age: 13-16 years) in Southern Norway were conducted. Data were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis. Findings School nurses and teachers experienced communication of pain with young immigrants as characterized by cultural differences and language problems. Immigrants waiting for residency permits experienced pain more often than others. They also experienced that young immigrants often were absent from school and used pain as an excuse for not participating in classes, but this was not the case at the special school for immigrants. During Ramadan, they experienced that immigrant pupils had an increase of pain, especially headaches. Originality/value Culture affects the assessment and management of pain and different strategies may assist school nurses and teachers in their encounter with young immigrants with pain. There is a need for education in cultural competence among teachers and school nurses.