Interventions to improve immigrant health. A scoping review

Esperanza Diaz*, Gaby Ortiz-Barreda, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, Michelle Holdsworth, Bukola Salami, Anu Rammohan, Roger Yat-Nork Chung, Sabu S. Padmadas, Thomas Krafft

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background: Disparities in health between immigrants and their host populations have been described across countries and continents. Hence, interventions for improving health targeting general populations are not necessarily effective for immigrants. Aims: To conduct a systematic search of the literature evaluating health interventions for immigrants; to map the characteristics of identified studies including range of interventions, immigrant populations and their host countries, clinical areas targeted and reported evaluations, challenges and limitations of the interventions identified. Following the results, to develop recommendations for research in the field. Methods: A scoping review approach was chosen to provide an overview of the type, extent and quantity of research available. Studies were included if they empirically evaluated health interventions targeting immigrants and/or their descendants, included a control group, and were published in English (PubMed and Embase from 1990 to 2015). Results: Most of the 83 studies included were conducted in the USA, encompassed few immigrant groups and used a randomized controlled trial (RCT) or cluster RCT design. Most interventions addressed chronic and non-communicable diseases and attendance at cancer screening services, used individual targeted approaches, targeted adult women and recruited participants from health centres. Outcome measures were often subjective, with the exception of interventions for cardiovascular risk and diabetes. Generally, authors claimed that interventions were beneficial, despite a number of reported limitations. Conclusions: Recommendations for enhancing interventions to improve immigrant health are provided to help researchers, funders and health care commissioners when deciding upon the scope, nature and design of future research in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017




Dive into the research topics of 'Interventions to improve immigrant health. A scoping review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this