Work Package 5: Health Behaviour: Promoting Health among Adult Migrants – University of Copenhagen

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Work Package 5

Health Behaviour: Promoting Health among Adult Migrants

Work Package 5 was headed by PhD Fellow Nanna Ahlmark

Other staff: Anne Bo, Knud Juel, Teresa Friis-Holmberg and Maria Holst.

WP5 contained two parts.

Part 1: Migrant’s participation in national health surveys

The first part sought to create knowledge about reasons for the low response rate (31.8 %) among migrant groups in the national health survey ‘How are you', and to develop recommendations for an improved response rate among this population.

The health survey was standardized among Denmark’s five regions in 2010 and represents the biggest national health survey. It will be carried out every fourth year. The project therefore contributed to systematic collection of valid data on ethnic minorities' health and synchronicity with national data.

The existing questionnaire was tested and reviewed through focus group interviews and cognitive interviewing among migrant students at "Vestegnens Language and Competence Centre" (VSK) and among migrants and descendants at a job centre and at a high school. Furthermore, information material and dissemination strategy related to the questionnaire was discussed in focus groups. The project developed suggestions for improved dissemination tools.

Part 2: Health promotion interventions for migrants

The second part of the project aimed at developing a health intervention for newly arrived immigrants. The intervention focused on the relation between health, integration, language, and social relations and aimed to strengthen life skills and action competence in relation to specific elements such as diet, exercise, body-consciousness or social networking.  

The intervention was developed based on intervention mapping (IM), hence, the specific intervention design and components was not decided upon from the outset, but was developed based on a thorough research process. This included six parts: 1) Review of documented international experiences, 2) analysis of data extracted from the National Health Profile 2010, 3) mapping of on-going interventions in Denmark, 4) focus group interviews with users of VSK and among migrants with experiences with health interventions in other settings 5) feedback from teachers at VSK and experts in Centre for Intervention Research in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and 6) international field visits. Furthermore, municipalities in Vestegnen, where a large part of the population is migrants, was consulted. Intervention elements was tested for feasibility and acceptability among migrants at VSK by running selected course modules.