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International Perspective on Health Literacy and Health Equity: Factors That Influence the Former Soviet Union Immigrants

1
School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
2
Interdisciplinary Center for Health Literacy Research, Bielefeld University, 33699 Bielefeld, Germany
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Department of Health Education and Promotion, Clalit Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Haifa 31000, Israel
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Kazakhstan School of Public Health, Medical University, Almaty 050000, Kazakhstan
5
National Medical Research Center for Therapy and Preventive Medicine of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, 101000 Moscow, Russia
6
Chamberlain College of Nursing, Chamberlain University, Downers Grove, 60515 IL, USA
7
Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062155
Received: 29 January 2020 / Revised: 7 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
Among the world’s 272 million international migrants, more than 25 million are from the former Soviet Union (FSU), yet there is a paucity of literature available about FSU immigrants’ health literacy. Besides linguistic and cultural differences, FSU immigrants often come from a distinct healthcare system affecting their ability to find, evaluate, process, and use health information in the host countries. In this scoping review and commentary, we describe the health literacy issues of FSU immigrants and provide an overview of FSU immigrants’ health literacy based on the integrated health literacy model. We purposefully consider the three most common locations where FSU immigrants have settled: the USA, Germany, and Israel. For context, we describe the healthcare systems of the three host countries and the two post-Soviet countries to illustrate the contribution of system-level factors on FSU immigrants’ health literacy. We identify research gaps and set a future research agenda to help understand FSU immigrants’ health literacy across countries. Amidst the ongoing global population changes related to international migration, this article contributes to a broad-scope understanding of health literacy among FSU immigrants related to the system-level factors that may also apply to other immigrants, migrants, and refugees. View Full-Text
Keywords: immigrant; migrant; refugee; Soviet; Russian-speaking; access to care; healthcare system immigrant; migrant; refugee; Soviet; Russian-speaking; access to care; healthcare system
MDPI and ACS Style

Kostareva, U.; Albright, C.L.; Berens, E.-M.; Levin-Zamir, D.; Aringazina, A.; Lopatina, M.; Ivanov, L.L.; Sentell, T.L. International Perspective on Health Literacy and Health Equity: Factors That Influence the Former Soviet Union Immigrants. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2155.

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