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Publication: Doctoral Student Sangeun Lee and Associate Professor Cindy Sousa

April 28, 2023

Navigating Older Adults Service Provision during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study of Bicultural and Bilingual Asian Human Service Workers

Author: Sangeun Lee, Ryan Rose, Cindy Sousa

Source: Smith College Studies in Social Work, DOI: 10.1080/00377317.2023.2203244, April 2023

Type of Publication: Article in a periodical

Abstract: The pandemic has spotlighted multiple long-standing inequities among marginalized populations. Of particular concern is the population of older Asian adults with limited English proficiency, who rely heavily on bicultural and bilingual Asian human service workers for culturally and linguistically appropriate service provision. With ever-evolving public health measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, new challenges arose for bicultural and bilingual Asian human service workers to provide timely and appropriate care. To better understand the challenges among bicultural and bilingual Asian human service workers, this qualitative study explores how these workers changed their service provision in assisting older adults with limited English proficiency. Using the purposive sampling strategy, ten bicultural and bilingual Asian human service workers participated in the study that employed a phenomenological approach. Findings suggest that the workers need additional support to create a more comprehensive system of care for their older Asian clients who carry dual cultures and systems during the time of public health emergencies. Implications for social work and human service practice are offered.

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