The EFPC Healthy Ageing Working Group has published a new Position Paper in the official EFPC Journal Primary Health Care Research & Development (PHCR&D)

Title: Migration and health: exploring healthy ageing of immigrants in European societies

Published: 3 February 2023

Authors: Frode F. Jacobsen, Stinne Glasdam, Limke M. Schopman, Morten Sodemann, Maria E.T.C. van den Muijsenbergh and Gudmund Ågotnes

Journal: Primary Health Care Research & Development, Volume 24, 2023, e10

The aim of this Position Paper is to identify important factors for immigrants’ health and well-being and for their use (or non-use) of primary health care (PHC) and other non-specialised services, and for possible ways that PHC can support healthy ageing of immigrants.

Older persons are an increasing share of the immigrant population in the global north, frequently in contact with various forms of health services, (PHC services most of all. Consequently, PHC services are in a particularly unique position to support healthy ageing of immigrants.

The position paper builds on five international, multi-professional and cross-disciplinary small group discussions as well as an international workshop early summer. During the discussions and the workshop, topics were arrived at as to factors related to the health situation of older immigrants, their needs, and health-seeking behaviour, and to how PHC professionals could support healthy ageing in immigrants. Those main topics in turn guided search for relevant research literature and informed the selection of the main research questions of this paper.

Several factors, in addition to culture and cultural differences, are important to for PHC professionals and decision-makers to take into consideration in encounters with older immigrants. The socio-economic position of the older immigrant and close relatives, inter-generational relationships within the immigrant communities, country-specific factors in the host country like health care expenditure, and communication skills in health professionals are all examples of factors playing an important role regarding the health and health-seeking behaviour of older immigrants.