Conducting ethical research with people from asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds

Anna Ziersch, Clemence Due, Kathy Arthurson, Nicole Loehr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences
EditorsPranee Liamputtong
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789811052514
ISBN (Print)9789811052507
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Asylum seeker
  • Ethics
  • Participatory approaches
  • Refugee
  • Social determinants of health


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