Migration and Health : A literature review of the health of immigrant populations in Norway
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Original version43 p. NTNU Samfunnsforskning AS, 2013
A substantial number of studies have been conducted on immigrants’ health in Norway and most of them are based on data from the Oslo immigrant health study (Innvandrer-HUBRO). This literature analysis has identified eight crucial health issues: mental health problems, lifestyle and diet-related health problems, infectious diseases, reproductive health problems, access to and use of health care services, disability, gender-based violence, and care for elderly immigrants. Based on the acculturation theory, most of the research blames the immigrants’ culture for their health problems. Prospective studies are needed to understand migrant health better and to inform interventions for immigrants’ health maintenance. The focus should be on vulnerable immigrant groups such as asylum seekers, irregular migrants, work migrants, and marriage migrants. Further, care for the elderly immigrant population is an emerging issue. The intersectionality theory has been recently adapted to study immigrants’ health problems and to identify why some immigrant groups are worse off than others in terms of their health. This approach provides a richer understanding of immigrants’ health patterns by shifting the focus from individual-level cultural explanations to research that provides a broader, more in-depth analysis of ethnicity and/or racism as a structural factor that intersects with other dimensions of inequality such as gender and class and impacts the health outcomes of immigrants (Viruell-Fuentes et al. 2012).