Typologies and logics of welfare bricolage in Portugal and Lisbon: case studies from the UPWEB project

The Welfare Bricolage project (UPWEB), led by IRiS Director, Professor Jenny Phillimore, and is a four year research project seeking to fill gaps in knowledge around the health seeking behaviours of residents in superdiverse neighbourhoods. Understanding how people put together their own healthcare and the drivers behind their healthcare choices will enable future healthcare provision to be shaped in a way that responds to the needs of service users.

The UPWEB project involves research collaboration across four countries; UK, Germany, Portugal and Sweden. Each partner country has been chosen due to its diverse and dynamic population and the challenges faced by policy makers to ensure a responsive healthcare service is in place, one which understands how its residents make use of both formal and informal healthcare.  To support policy decisions, UPWEB is producing a series of Working Papers, sharing key research findings and recommendations from the project so far.

The latest case studies come from our partners in Sweden and Portugal, focusing on residents and their welfare bricolage in Uppsala and Lisbon respectively.  Typologies and logics of welfare bricolage in Sweden: Uppsala case study written by Sarah Hamed and Hannah Bradby focusses on migration and health in Sweden. The research team interviewed 35 residents in two Swedish towns, identifying how residents access healthcare and the barriers they face. The case study highlights how issues such as language barriers, discrimination and not being taken seriously have adversely affected residents’ ability to access healthcare. This has led to avoidance of the healthcare system in some cases whilst others have utilised a tactic of insisting and persisting to have their health concerns taken more seriously.

In Portugal, our research team of Beatriz Padilla, Vera Rodrigues and Tiago Chaves have conducted interviews with residents of two neighbourhoods in Lisbon. As Portugal has its own National Health Service, the case study highlights how residents utilise formal resources and supplement this with informal resources such as alternative medicines, advice from family, complimentary therapies and internet diagnosis. There is also evidence to suggest that pharmacists are used as a key source of medical advice, being trusted more than GP’s by a number of residents who found this source of information to be quicker and more reliable.

To read the Working Papers and access all publications from the IRiS Working Paper series please click here.


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