Special Issue "Patterns, Determinants, and Community-based Interventions of Migrant and Refugee Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mellissa Withers
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, SSB 318G 2001 N. Soto Street Health Sciences Campus, Los Angeles, CA 90032, USA
Interests: community participatory research; maternal health; gender-based violence; global sexual; reproductive health
Dr. Brian Hall
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Global and Community Mental Health Research Group, Faculty of Social Sciences (E21), The University of Macau, Taipa 99907, Macau
Interests: migrant health, trauma and adversity, social and psychiatric epidemiology, HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections, behavioral addiction, technology assisted interventions
Dr. Tharani Loganathan
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence-based Practice, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Interests: health economics; migration; health equity; universal health care
Dr. Hsin-Chieh Chang
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, Fudan University, 220 Handan Rd., Shanghai 200433, China
Interests: social determinants of migrant health; community studies; gender and wellbeing; migrants and minority integration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Globally, one in seven of the world’s population is a migrant, translating into an estimated 1 billion migrants, including 258 million international migrants and 763 million internal migrants. The rise in global mobility and its positive and negative impact on individuals, families, communities, and nations have led to increased attention toward the needs and challenges of migrants. Moreover, the scale and significance of migration worldwide makes it a critical topic for health research and interventions.

Migrants encompass a broad range of vulnerable populations, including migrant workers, human trafficking victims, refugees, migrant children, internally displaced persons, and many more. Migration is considered an important social determinant of health. To ensure that “no one is left behind”, we need to understand which interventions are effective in protecting and improving the health of migrants and under what conditions. For this issue, we invite articles that offer new insights and evidence to contribute to the global knowledge base regarding migrant health. In 2019, at the World Health Assembly, the WHO approved a five-year Global Action Plan promoting the health of refugees and migrants. The Action Plan recommends six priorities and options for action by the WHO and others, including promoting the health of refugees and migrants through short-term and long-term public health interventions.

Researchers, practitioners, and educators are invited to submit manuscripts related to any area of migrant health, focusing on community-based interventions and/or policy. We will consider original quantitative and qualitative research articles (for the review, minimum 4000, excluding references and tables), as well as review articles and articles about pilot studies. We also invite critical reflections and commentaries regarding the methodological and ethical challenges of conducting research and implementing interventions among this population.

Manuscripts on the following topics are especially welcome (although all relevant papers will be considered): improving healthcare services, trauma and mental health, immigration and labor laws, the protection of migrant workers, occupational health, poverty and inequities, reduction of public resentment/discrimination, gender-based violence, sex work, migrants as brides, resettlement, and reintegration of migrants who return home.

Dr. Mellissa Withers
Dr. Brian Hall
Dr. Tharani Loganathan
Dr. Hsin-Chieh Chang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • migrant
  • immigration
  • refugee
  • health

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
“Just Be Strong, You Will Get through It” a Qualitative Study of Young Migrants’ Experiences of Settling in New Zealand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1292; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031292 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
Migration, when it occurs during adolescence, is particularly challenging as it coincides with a myriad of other developmental and social changes. The present study set out to explore recent young migrants’ experiences of settling in New Zealand. The qualitative study aimed to identify [...] Read more.
Migration, when it occurs during adolescence, is particularly challenging as it coincides with a myriad of other developmental and social changes. The present study set out to explore recent young migrants’ experiences of settling in New Zealand. The qualitative study aimed to identify areas of particular challenge, examples of resilience and new insights into the acculturation process. Focus group interviews were conducted with migrant youth aged 16–19 from three urban secondary schools in Auckland The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using a general inductive method. Key themes centered on new beginnings, confronting new realities, acceptance, support seeking and overcoming challenges. Young migrants in this study shared similar challenges during the early post-migration period. They were often faced with additional responsibility, being caught between two cultures while struggling with communication and language. However, they were able to draw on their own self-growth, gratitude, and social connections. This study provides an insight into experiences of young migrants in New Zealand, and offers suggestions for developing culturally relevant support to foster migrant youth wellbeing. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Coping in Limbo? The Moderating Role of Coping Strategies in the Relationship between Post-Migration Stress and Well-Being during the Asylum-Seeking Process
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031004 - 23 Jan 2021
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Asylum seekers are faced with high levels of post-migratory stress due to uncertainty and uncontrollability of the application process, resulting in higher levels of mental health problems. Little is known about the coping strategies utilized by asylum seekers in this context. Structural equation [...] Read more.
Asylum seekers are faced with high levels of post-migratory stress due to uncertainty and uncontrollability of the application process, resulting in higher levels of mental health problems. Little is known about the coping strategies utilized by asylum seekers in this context. Structural equation modeling and the stepwise modeling approach were utilized on cross-sectional data from a cohort of asylum seekers in Sweden (N = 455) to examine whether adaptive coping in the form of problem-focused and cognitive-based coping would buffer the impact of post-migratory stressors by moderating the relationship between the stressors and well-being. Fit indices showed good to excellent fit of the final model that regressed well-being on selected post-migratory stressors and coping (CFI = 0.964, RMSEA = 0.043 (90% CI = 0.035–0.051), SRMR = 0.044). Well-being was negatively and significantly regressed on both perceived discrimination (B = −0.42, SE = 0.11, p < 0.001) and distressing family conflicts (B = −0.16, SE = 0.07, p = 0.037), and positively and significantly regressed on cognitive restructuring (B = 0.71, SE = 0.33, p = 0.030). There was, however, no evidence that coping strategies modified the adverse associations between the two post-migratory stressors and well-being. Interventions and policies should prioritize improving contextual factors inherent in the asylum-seeking process in order to reduce stress and enable coping. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Barriers to Accessing Medicines among Syrian Asylum Seekers and Refugees in a German Federal State
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020519 - 10 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 535 | Correction
Abstract
In Germany, asylum seekers and refugees (AS&Rs) face challenges when accessing healthcare services including medicines. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers to accessing medicines among Syrian AS&Rs in the state of North Rheine-Westphalia, and to provide an understanding of [...] Read more.
In Germany, asylum seekers and refugees (AS&Rs) face challenges when accessing healthcare services including medicines. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers to accessing medicines among Syrian AS&Rs in the state of North Rheine-Westphalia, and to provide an understanding of their perspectives towards taking medicines that contain alcohol or pork products. This study is based on a cross-sectional survey using a combination of sampling methods. We used descriptive statistics to analyze quantitative data. Participants’ answers to an open-ended question yielded qualitative data that were categorized based on the thematic areas they discussed or addressed. Among the 1641 respondents, language barriers had more of an effect on the access to medicines than any other factor studied. The effect of language barriers on access to medicines was more pronounced for female participants, those who were older than 50 years, and participants who had chronic diseases in comparison to the other groups of participants. Male participants and those younger than 50 years of age showed more acceptance towards taking medicines that contain alcohol or pork products. Based on our results, we recommend providing more support for AS&Rs to learn the German language, particularly for female refugees, older refugees, and those with chronic diseases or disabilities. We also recommend providing translated medical leaflets for patients who wish to receive them in their native language. Healthcare providers should try to consider the special conditions of AS&Rs patients and take into account their perspectives about treatments and diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation and Maintenance of a Community-Based Intervention for Refugee Youth Reporting Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress: Lessons from Successful Sites
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010043 - 23 Dec 2020
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Over the last few years there have been attempts to scale-up Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT), a community-based group intervention for refugee youth reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress, across Sweden using the distribution network pathway model. This implementation model allows for quick spread, but [...] Read more.
Over the last few years there have been attempts to scale-up Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT), a community-based group intervention for refugee youth reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress, across Sweden using the distribution network pathway model. This implementation model allows for quick spread, but only for a low level of control at local sites. This study explores factors and agents that have facilitated the implementation and maintenance of the community-based intervention in successful sites. Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with personnel from “successful” community sites, defined as having conducted at least two groups and maintaining full delivery. Data were analyzed using content analysis to identify a theme and categories. The main theme “Active networking and collaboration” was key to successful maintenance of community-based delivery. Categories included “Going to where the potential recipients are”, relating to the importance of networks, and “Resource availability and management for maintenance”, relating to the challenges due to the lack of a lead organization supplying necessary funds and support for maintenance. Additionally, “Careful integration of the interpreter” underlined that interpreters were essential co-facilitators of the intervention. Although the interviewed professionals represented successful sites, they remained dependent on informal networks and collaboration for successful maintenance of community-based delivery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Problem of Access to Public Health Insurance Schemes among Cross-Border Migrants in Thailand through Systems Thinking
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5113; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145113 - 15 Jul 2020
Viewed by 709
Abstract
Thailand has become a popular destination for international migrant workers, particularly from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar. However, only a fraction of these migrant workers were insured by public health insurance. The objective of this study was to apply systems thinking to explore [...] Read more.
Thailand has become a popular destination for international migrant workers, particularly from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar. However, only a fraction of these migrant workers were insured by public health insurance. The objective of this study was to apply systems thinking to explore contextual factors affecting access to public health insurance among cross-border migrants in Thailand. A group model building approach was applied. Participants (n = 20) were encouraged to share ideas about underlying drivers and barriers of migrants’ access to health insurance. The causal loop diagram and stock and flow diagram were synthesised to identify the dynamics of access to migrant health insurance. Results showed that nationality verification is an important mechanism to deal with the precarious citizenship status of undocumented migrants. However, some migrants are still left uninsured. The likely explanations are the semi-voluntary nature of the Health Insurance Card Scheme, administrative delay of the enrollment process, and resistance of some employers to hiring migrants. As a result, findings suggest that effective communication is required to raise acceptance towards insurance among migrants and their employers. A participatory public policy process is needed to create a good balance of migrant policies among diverse authorities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Outcomes of the Health Insurance Card Scheme on Migrants’ Use of Health Services in Ranong Province, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124431 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
In 2002, Thailand achieved Universal Health Coverage for all citizens; however, it remains the case that undocumented migrants are not fully covered. The Health Insurance Card Scheme (HICS) of the Ministry of Public Health is the key policy aiming to cover undocumented migrants. [...] Read more.
In 2002, Thailand achieved Universal Health Coverage for all citizens; however, it remains the case that undocumented migrants are not fully covered. The Health Insurance Card Scheme (HICS) of the Ministry of Public Health is the key policy aiming to cover undocumented migrants. This study examined the impact of this policy on the utilisation rate of public health facilities among HICS beneficiaries including undocumented migrants. Facility-based individual records between 2011 and 2015 were purposively retrieved from one provincial hospital, one district hospital, and two health centres in one of the most densely migrant-populated provinces in Thailand. Poisson regression was conducted on inpatient (IP) utilisation, while negative binomial regression was conducted on outpatient (OP) utilisation. Of 74,722 admissions, 19.0% were insured by HICS. About 14.0% of the outpatient records were for HICS beneficiaries. Overall, the HICS utilisation rate in migrants was lower than in Thai patients. Being insured with the HICS significantly increased OP utilisation by 1.7%, and IP utilisation by 11.1% (relative to uninsured). Disease status was the most important factor that positively influenced the utilisation rate. Further studies that explore the differences in health service utilisation among HICS beneficiaries with diverse economic backgrounds are recommended Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Housing Conditions, Neighborhood Physical Environment, and Secondhand Smoke Exposure at Home: Evidence from Chinese Rural-to-Urban Migrant Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2629; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082629 - 11 Apr 2020
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Over the past two decades, health-related issues among rural-to-urban migrant workers in China have been widely discussed and documented by public health scholars. However, little, if any, scholarly attention has been paid to migrant workers’ secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure at home. This study [...] Read more.
Over the past two decades, health-related issues among rural-to-urban migrant workers in China have been widely discussed and documented by public health scholars. However, little, if any, scholarly attention has been paid to migrant workers’ secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure at home. This study aims to explore the contours of SHS exposure at home and investigate the effects of inadequate housing conditions and poor neighborhood physical environments on such in-home exposure among Chinese migrant workers. A respondent-driven sampling method was employed to interview 1854 rural-to-urban migrant workers from the period June 2017 to June 2018 in Chengdu, China. The results indicate that Chinese migrant workers are at high risk of SHS exposure at home. Migrant workers who live in homes with inadequate conditions, such as substandard housing and crowdedness, are especially at high risk of SHS exposure at home. Moreover, poor neighborhood physical environments are significantly and positively associated with SHS exposure at home. These findings suggest that strategies that can help improve housing conditions and neighborhood physical environments should be developed and promoted to protect rural-to-urban migrant workers from SHS exposure at home. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Health Literacy and Its Related Determinants in Migrant Health Workers and Migrant Health Volunteers: A Case Study of Thailand, 2019
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2105; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062105 - 22 Mar 2020
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Migrant health workers (MHWs) and migrant health volunteers (MHVs) are key health workforce actors who play a substantial role in improving the health of migrants in Thailand. The objective of this study was to explore the factors associated with health literacy in MHWs [...] Read more.
Migrant health workers (MHWs) and migrant health volunteers (MHVs) are key health workforce actors who play a substantial role in improving the health of migrants in Thailand. The objective of this study was to explore the factors associated with health literacy in MHWs and MHVs in Thailand. A self-administered questionnaire was conducted from December 2018 to April 2019 in two migrant-populated provinces. A total of 40 MHWs, 78 MHVs, and 116 general migrants were included in the survey. Results showed that a higher education level was associated with a greater health literacy score. MHWs were more likely to have a higher health literacy score (5.59 points difference) than general migrants. The province per se and type of affiliations did not significantly contribute to the difference in the health literacy score of each individual. Most MHWs received health information from health professionals, health staff, and the internet, while MHVs and general migrants received information from health professionals, MHWs/MHVs, family/friends, and posters/leaflets. This study suggests that a higher education level should be used as a criterion for recruitment of MHWs and MHVs. Access to interactive health information like health professionals should be promoted as the main source of information to ensure better health literacy among MHWs and MHVs. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Aljadeeah, S., et al. Barriers to Accessing Medicines among Syrian Asylum Seekers and Refugees in a German Federal State. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 519
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052464 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 233
Abstract
In the original article [...] Full article
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