Impact of social factors on health status and help seeking behavior among migrants and Germans

Keller, Angela, and Baune, Bernhard T. (2005) Impact of social factors on health status and help seeking behavior among migrants and Germans. Journal of Public Health, 13 (1). pp. 22-29.

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Several studies show significant differences between Germans and migrants in health status, helpseeking behavior and utilization of health care facilities. Social factors are potential determinants partially explaining these differences. The main objective of the present cross-sectional study is to study the impact of social factors on health status and health care utilization including preventive services among Germans and migrants in the German health care system. A survey was conducted among 565 adults (mostly parents; 49% migrants, 51% Germans) accompanying their children at the compulsory medical school entry examination. The survey aimed at the self-reported health status of the adults, the help-seeking behavior, social and demographic variables as well as factors describing the ethnic background and the process of migration. As a result we found a statistically significant lower level of health care utilization for migrants compared to Germans whereas the selfreported health status was similar between Germans and migrants and not dependant on social factors. Social factors accounted for differences in health care utilization including the use of preventive services among both groups (Germans and migrants). Despite the ethnic background, a low social class was significantly associated with a decreased use of health care facilities among Germans and migrants compared to adults from a high social class. Further studies are needed to identify certain obstacles to utilizing the German health care system by adults from a low social class. Public health interventions could be suitable for addressing these difficulties.

Item ID: 8693
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1741-3842
Keywords: migration; social class; health care; utilization; prevention
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Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2010 05:22
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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