Culture- and evidence-based health promotion group education perceived by new-coming adult Arabic-speaking male and female refugees to Sweden—Pre and two post assessments


Objective: According to a theoretical approach, events that elicit stress after arrival in the reception country, i.e., post-migration stress, have a negative impact on health-related quality of life among newly-arrived refugees. With the aim of paying attention to such symptoms, a revised culturally-tailored clinical health promotion model developed at Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma was used for invited groups of new-coming adult refugees in a town south of the Swedish capital. Methods: A coordinator administered the five-weekly sessions, 2 hours/week, with a professional interpreter. It covered major topics from Western and Arabic worldviews: 1) introduction; 2) health care: organisation and access to; 3) exercises; 4) stress management and coping, 5) medical doctor-patient communication. Each topic was led by a nurse, a physiotherapist, a psychologist and a physician with experience of encounters with this target group in health care. Data cover results from 70 participants attending six groups; 39 participants with pre-course findings and, post-course and six-month follow-ups. There were no significant differences in background factors between the participants and the drop-outs. Results: Participants’ perceptions of their health, measured by EQ-5D, changed positively over time, above all immediately after the course, with no significant differences between the two follow-ups. In the follow-ups, female participants perceived their health as significantly worse than males. Qualitative data at the six-month follow-up assessed the course as useful but expressed a wish to continue a similar course with a focus on post- migration stress. Conclusion: The results sup- port earlier findings. A course, administered to a small group in a dialogue setting, has value for the participants’ empowerment and perception of health. It is recommended that reception be more adapted to coping of post-migration stress of new-coming refugees. Practical Implications: The results have implications for education in clinical health promotion, intercultural communication and inter-professional collaboration in refugee reception.

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Ekblad, S. and Asplund, M. (2013) Culture- and evidence-based health promotion group education perceived by new-coming adult Arabic-speaking male and female refugees to Sweden—Pre and two post assessments. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 12-21. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.31002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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