Review of social epidemiologic research on migrants' health: findings, methodological cautions, and theoretical perspectives

Scand J Soc Med. 1998 Sep;26(3):173-80. doi: 10.1177/14034948980260030601.


The phenomenon of world-wide immigration and migration has major implications for the health of the migrants in addition to its impact upon social and other service providers. Studies of migrants that utilize social epidemiologic methods fall within the traditional boundaries of descriptive and analytic approaches; this article reviews some of the studies that exemplify these approaches. It then suggests specific methodological issues and cautions pertaining to research on migrants and provides a theoretical model for organizing the diverse research studies that have been conducted. By stimulating discussion regarding social epidemiologic research on migrants' health, this model is intended to serve as a compass point for future research and needed interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Causality
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Morbidity*
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*