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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(10), 12643-12661; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012643

Return Migration among Elderly, Chronically Ill Bosnian Refugees: Does Health Matter?

1
Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health, Section for Health Services Research, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Copenhagen K 1014, Denmark
2
Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Copenhagen K 1353, Denmark
3
Section of Global Health, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Copenhagen K 1014, Denmark
4
Center for Healthy Aging, Section for Health Services Research, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Copenhagen K 1014, Denmark
5
Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health, Section for Health Services Research, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Copenhagen K 1014, Denmark
6
Section of Immigrant Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Hvidovre, Hvidovre 2650, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 18 August 2015 / Revised: 22 September 2015 / Accepted: 30 September 2015 / Published: 12 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [685 KB, uploaded 12 October 2015]

Abstract

Elderly migrants constitute a considerable share of global return migration; nevertheless, literature on the health aspects of the return migration among these migrants is still scarce. This study explores the significance of return migration among elderly, chronically ill Bosnian refugees from Denmark and the role of health issues in their decision to return. It is based on semi-structured interviews with 33 elderly, chronically ill Bosnian refugees who have moved back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 10 elderly, chronically ill Bosnian refugees who have remained in Denmark. The interviews show that physical health, in the sense of the absence of illness and easy access to necessary health-care services and medicines, was not highly prioritized when the decision was made whether or not to return. However, if health is regarded more broadly as involving more than mere physical health and the absence of illness, health did matter. Viewed as physical, social and mental well-being in line with WHO’s definition of health, health was indeed one of the most important factors when the decision to return was made. View Full-Text
Keywords: return migration; elderly; chronic illness; well-being; Bosnia and Herzegovina return migration; elderly; chronic illness; well-being; Bosnia and Herzegovina
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Handlos, L.N.; Olwig, K.F.; Bygbjerg, I.C.; Kristiansen, M.; Norredam, M.L. Return Migration among Elderly, Chronically Ill Bosnian Refugees: Does Health Matter? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 12643-12661.

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