Recommendations for collecting and analysing migration-related determinants in public health research
Background: According to the definition of the German Federal Statistical Office, about every fourth person living in Germany has a so-called migration background (MB), i.e., the person or at least one of their parents was born without German citizenship. However, MB has been defined differently in many studies. Also, the MB summarises people in different living situations, making differentiated analysis in health science more difficult. This article formulates recommendations for the collection and analysis of migration-related, as well as social and structural, determinants of health. Indicators for capturing relevant determinants of health: As part of the Improving Health Monitoring in Migrant Populations project (IMIRA), the previous approaches to operationalise and measure migration-related determinants were revised based on literature research and exchange formats, such as workshops, meetings, congress contributions, etc. Instead of MB, the country of birth of the respondents and their parents, duration of residence, citizenship(s), residence status, and German language proficiency should be recorded as minimum indicators and analysed as individual variables. Further social and structural determinants, such as socioeconomic position, working and housing conditions, or self-reported discrimination, should be included. Conclusions: In order to describe health inequalities and to specifically identify the needs of people with a history of migration, a mutual and differentiated consideration of migration-related and social determinants of health is essential.
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