Migration and Health

Ph.D. -course

Course description

Course content

Objectives: The objective of the course is to provide knowledge about immigrant health and health rights from both a Norwegian and an international perspective. The course will cover the main features of somatic and mental health including the immigrants┬┐ life trajectories and reasons for migration and migrant status as determinants of health. In addition, the course will practically focus on communication skills for intercultural clinical encounters, and teach the students how to evaluate research in this scientific area.

Contents: Basic concepts on culture and migration; Main theories and mechanisms to understand immigrant health; Burden of disease among migrants; Mental health; Nutritional Health and Displacement; Labour trafficking, Interpreters and cross-cultural communication; Equality versus equity in health care services.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The student
- knows the key numbers related to migration and health - both in Norway and globally
- knows concepts and theories regarding immigrants and their health
- knows rights related to health provision in Norway and internationally, including Human rights
- knows about the common age-specific physical and mental health problems among immigrants
- understands how migration can affect physical (including nutritional) and mental well-being
- knows the basic concepts used regarding refugees, displacement, forced migration and labour trafficking

The student shall be able to:
- Recognize and manage cultural and linguistic barriers associated to migrant health
- Apply cultural awareness in the analysis of communication and care provision
- Use an interpreter in an appropriate manner
- Analyse immigrant health in a life-trajectory perspective
- Recognize problems related to work and health among migrants and discuss the topic
- Recognize problems related to nutrition and health among migrants and discuss the topic
- Apply simple strategies to include immigrants in health research when appropriate
- Evaluate research in this scientific area

General competence
- The student develops cultural competence and cultural awareness that can be used both in research and in health care practice. The student understands the relation between being a migrant and health, and is able to reflect on different solutions to solve the challenges.
- The student will be able to understand that cultural differences are of importance both regarding legislation and perceptions of and expression of health problems, and can discuss these factors both nationally and globally.

Study period

Spring:week 4 and 5 in January

Number of students:
Minimum: 10
Maximum: 40

Language of instruction

Minimum a Master's level of knowledge in global health or other relevant health related topics, according to the requirements for the PhD programme.

Proficiency in English at a level corresponding to TOEFL 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) or IELTS band 6.0 is expected.

Form of assessment

Forms of Assessment: Evaluation of group work presentations (passed/failed)

Examination Support Material: Preparation for the presentation will take place in groups and at home, and all support material can be used. The presentation and questions answered in the examination will reflect the skills of the student.

Who may participate
Students enrolled in the PhD study at UiB, or other partner universities and Medical student in the medical student research programme (forskerlinja)
Supplementary course information

Face to face lectures, including case based learning (CBL) and Team based learning (TBL) and role playing elements

Group work / role play based on previously defined exercises and work on individual assignments

Assignment production on group and individual basis

Reading list

Compulsory reading:
-Kleinman A. Culture and depression. N Engl J Med. 2004;351(10):951-3.

-Rechel B, Mladovsky P, Ingleby D, et al. Migration and health in an increasingly diverse Europe. Lancet 2013;381(9873):1235-45.

-Ronda E, Andres A, Agudelo-Suarez et al. Differences in exposure to occupational health risk in Spanish and foreign born workers in Spain (Itsal project) J Imm Min Health 2013;15:164-171

-Ronda E, Benavies FG, Levecque K et al. Difference in working conditions and employment arrangements among migrant and non-migrant workers in Europe. Ethnicity and Health 2012;17:563-577.

-Saha S, Beach MC, Cooper LA. Patient Centeredness, Cultural Competence and Healthcare Quality. J Natl Med Assoc. 2008;100(11):1275-85.

-Spallek J, Zeeb H, Razum O. What do we have to know from migrants' past exposures to understand their health status? A life course approach. Emerging themes in epidemiology. 2011;8(1):6.

-United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Forced Displacement in 2015. UNHCR Global Trends, 2016

-American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic manual and statistical manual of mental disorders 4th edition, Text revised (DSM-IV-TR). Washington: APA.

-UN report on forced displacement, for 2016/17: s3.amazonaws.com/unhcrsharedmedia/2016/2016-06-20-global-trends/2016-06-14-Global-Trends-2015.pdf

Other recommended literature/web-sites
-Diaz E, Thulesius H, Razum O. Shifting migrant health care away from an agenda of conflicts and problems toward solutions. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2016;34(3):213-4.

-OCHA information channels: www.unocha.org/

-Razum O, Weishaar H, Schaeffer D. Health literacy: strengthening agency or changing structures? Int J Public Health. 2016;61(3):277-8.

-Razum O, Spallek J. Addressing health-related interventions to immigrants: migrant-specific or diversity-sensitive? Int J Public Health. 2014;59:893-5.

Right to food movement: www.fao.org/3/a-y7937e.pdf and

-Overview of current trends and activities: www.fao.org/righttofood/right-to-food-home/en/

-WHO (1990). International classification of diseases- 10 for the classification of mental and behavioral disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization

-WHO emergency programme and WHO┬┐s humanitarian response plans: www.who.int/about/who_reform/emergency-capacities/emergencies-programme2016.pdf?ua=1

In addition comes selected new scientific articles for discussion/peer review evaluation; two specific for each student (different for each course).