Humanitarian healthcare: treating Syrian patients in Israeli hospitals

Savannah Spivey Young, Denise C. Lewis, Assaf Oshri, Peter Gilbey, Arie Eisenman, Richard J. Schuster, Desiree M. Seponski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the findings on interpersonal relational processes of Israeli healthcare providers (HCPs) and Syrian patients and caregivers using data collected in two Israeli hospitals. Design/methodology/approach: Using a parallel mixed-methods design, data were integrated from observations, interviews, and surveys. In total, 20 HCPs and three Syrian patient caregivers provided interview data. Quantitative data were collected from 204 HCPs using surveys. The qualitative component included the phenomenological coding. The quantitative analysis included factor analysis procedures. Throughout parallel analysis, data were mixed dialogically to form warranted assertions. Findings: Results from mixed analyses support a three-factor model representing the HCPs’ experiences treating Syrian patients. Factors were predicted by religious and occupational differences and included professional baseline, humanitarian insecurity, and medical humanitarianism. Research limitations/implications: Limitations of this study included issues of power, language differences, and a small Syrian caregiver sample. Practical implications: As the fearful, injured, and sick continue to flee violence and cross geopolitical borders, the healthcare community will be called upon to treat migrants and refugees according to ethical healthcare principles. Originality/value: The value of this research is in its critical examination of the HCPs’ interactions with patients, a relationship that propels humanitarian healthcare in the face of a global migrant crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-109
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Humanitarian
  • Israel
  • Mixed methods
  • Patient-provider relationship
  • Syria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Humanitarian healthcare: treating Syrian patients in Israeli hospitals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this