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A systematic review of evaluations of the health impacts of migration-oriented public policies
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9086-7588
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0800-0892
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4661-3462
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2018 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 28, p. 24-24Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background:

Government policies, including those outside healthcare, fundamentally shape both migration and health. Policies oriented toward migration begin with management of the arrival process (e.g. entry criteria), through to resettlement (e.g. dispersal) and short- and long-term integration (e.g. language classes and anti-discriminatory efforts). We aimed to systematically review the available evaluation evidence on the impacts of migration and integration policies at the supranational, national, and local levels on the health of international migrants, adopting a ‘health in all policies’ perspective.

Methods:

We searched the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases from January 2000 to September 2017 for quantitative or mixed-method studies which compared the health impacts of public policies to that of a counterfactual. We excluded all health policies, defined as those primarily introduced to improve health. Two reviewers independently conducted screening and data extraction. Policies were grouped by migration stage and sector for narrative synthesis. Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted to estimate the effectiveness of specific policies.

Results:

Out of 31,528 hits, 296 full texts were included for screening. Preliminary narrative synthesis shows a predominance of US and Australian studies, with few studies in low- and middle-income settings. Greater enforcement of immigration laws may adversely impact health (e.g. implementation of US Section 287g has been linked to increased childhood food poverty and reduced healthcare access), while provision of legal protection for existing illegal immigrants (e.g. the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has been associated with improved health.

Conclusions:

Few studies evaluate the impact of migration policies on health beyond those specifically oriented towards improving health. Preliminary findings suggest health benefits of legal protection, whereas greater enforcement of immigration law undermines healthcare access.

Main message:

Public policies outside of the health sector can substantially impact the health of international migrants, yet remain under-investigated in most of the world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 28, p. 24-24
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Public Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178316DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/cky047.017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-178316DiVA, id: diva2:1388218
Conference
1st World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health, Edinburgh, UK, 17-19, May, 2018
Note

Issue Section: d1. Oral Presentations.

Available from: 2020-01-23 Created: 2020-01-23 Last updated: 2020-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Juárez, SolHonkaniemi, HelenaDunlavy, AndreaAldridge, RobertKatikireddi, SrinivasaRostila, Mikael
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European Journal of Public Health
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