Feeling misidentified: Understanding migrant’s readiness to engage in health care screening

Society has a vested interest in vulnerable members of the population being screened for communicable diseases. Currently, screening interventions rely heavily upon socio-cognitive, majority-orientated theories that may not account for cultural factors differentially affecting migrant groups. The aim of the study was to develop an inductive theory to explain processes underlying the readiness of South Asian migrants to engage in hepatitis B or C screening. In understanding why some groups engage more than others we examined the U.K. South Asian population. We conducted eight focus groups with first-generation South Asian migrants. A theory of ‘readiness to engage’ is presented; embedded within participants’ testimonies. The results show screening readiness was impacted by feeling misidentified, misunderstood, or under threat. These issues were strongly related to individual, family and community level factors interacting with healthcare-system level factors. The results are discussed in relation to existing literature and implications for future screening practice.