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Differences in self-rated health among older immigrants--a comparison between older Finland-Swedes and Finns in Sweden.
Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV.
Divison of Nursing, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden,.
School of Health Science and Social Work, Va ̈ xjo ̈ University, Sweden.
Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV.
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 38, no 1, 25-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS: Research has shown a tendency among immigrants and ethnic minorities to have a lower health status compared with the majority population. This applies to Finnish immigrants in Sweden. This group, however, also consists of persons who belong to a small ethnic minority in Finland, the Finland-Swedes, who speak Swedish as their mother tongue. In Finland, this minority has been shown to have better health and longer lives than the majority of Finnish-speaking people. Most of the previous research has studied the objective health of immigrants and minorities, while less is known about their subjective health. The aim of this study was to describe and compare self-rated health in older Finland-Swedes and Finns living as immigrants in Sweden.

METHODS: The study was carried out as a sample-based cross-sectional study. Data was collected by a postal structured questionnaire. The response rate among the Finland-Swedes was 47% (n = 169) and among the Finns was 54% (n = 643). Data was analyzed descriptively and tested with Pearson's chi-square test.

RESULTS: The results showed significant differences between the language groups in self-rated health, age of retirement and causes for retirement. The Finland-Swede immigrants rated their health as better than the Finnish-speaking ones. They had retired at an older age and less frequently because of health problems.

CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that there may be significant differences in health, at least in subjective health, between immigrant groups. Due to the low response rate, the results cannot be generalized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 38, no 1, 25-31 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethnic minorities, older Finnish immigrants, self-rated health
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3696DOI: 10.1177/1403494809354792PubMedID: 19948648OAI: oai:DiVA.org:norden-3696DiVA: diva2:785687
Available from: 2015-02-03 Created: 2015-02-03 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. ÅLDRANDE, HÄLSA, MINORITET: äldre finlandssvenskar i Finland och Sverige
Open this publication in new window or tab >>ÅLDRANDE, HÄLSA, MINORITET: äldre finlandssvenskar i Finland och Sverige
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
AGEING, HEALTH, MINORITY : Older Finland-Swedes in Finland and Sweden
Abstract [sv]

Bakgrund: Minoritetsgrupper, inklusive invandrargrupper, tenderar att skatta sin hälsa sämre i jämförelse med majoriteten.

Syfte: Det övergripande syftet med föreliggande avhandling var att beskriva, analysera, jämföra och fördjupa förståelsen för äldre finlandssvenskars hälsa i form av upplevd och självskattad hälsa återspeglad ur ett livsloppsperspektiv. Upplevd hälsa studerades kvalitativt bland äldre finlandssvenskar i Finland och bland äldre finlandssvenskar i Sverige och som återflyttare till Finland (delstudierna I, IV). Självskattad hälsa studerades kvantitativt bland äldre finlandssvenskar i Finland (delstudie II), samt bland äldre finlandssvenskar i Sverige jämfört med äldre finskspråkiga i Sverige (delstudie III). Migration (III, IV) och åldrandet (I, II, IV) återspeglade sig i äldres hälsa.

Metod: Urvalen erhölls från Befolkningsregistet i Finland samt Statistiska Centralbyrån i Sverige. Studiegrupperna bestod av totalt n=982 personer. Data insamlades genom strukturerad muntlig och inbandad intervju, halvstrukturerad inbandad intervju, strukturerat intervjuformulär samt postad enkät. Data analyserades genom hermeneutisk ansats med kärnberättelser, tematisk kvalitativ innehållsanalys, kumulativ multipel regressionsanalys samt Chi2-test.

Resultat: Äldres upplevda hälsa tog sig uttryck genom personligheten, fysisk hälsa, sociala relationer och samhället. Över hälften skattade sin hälsa som god. Hälsa skattades som bättre ju mindre mediciner man behövde, ingen värk/smärta, bättre funktionsförmåga, bättre livslust och bättre ekonomi. Äldre finlandssvenskar i Sverige skattade sin hälsa som bättre jämfört med finskspråkiga i Sverige. Migration hade medfört svårigheter i samband med flyttningen till Sverige och arbetslivet i Sverige. Återflyttningen kunde försvåras av ohälsa och åldrandet. Åldrandet medförde en anpassning till att sätta egen hälsa och nuläge i perspektiv. Resultaten visade att äldre kan bidra med kunskaper om friskfaktorer.

Konklusion: Ur ett folkhälsovetenskapligt hälsofrämjande perspektiv är det av relevans att lyfta fram minoritetsgrupper ur ett resursperspektiv. Det är centralt att beakta att det kan förekomma skillnader i hälsa mellan minoriteter, inom minoriteter och inom etniska minoriteter. Sociala och kulturella skillnader kan inverka på hur äldre skattar sin hälsa. Äldre i minoritet kan vara mera sårbara på grund av ohälsa, migration och kön

Abstract [en]

Background: Minority groups, including immigrants, generally tend to report lower self-rated health than the majority.

Aims: The overall object of the dissertation was to describe, analyze and compare the self-rated health of older Finland-Swedes, and deepen the understanding of their experience of health in a life-course perspective. The experience of health was qualitatively studied among older Finland-Swedes in Finland, Finland-Swedes in Sweden and after re-migration in Finland (parts I, IV). Self-rated health was quantitatively studied among older Finland-Swedes in Finland (part II), and among older Finland-Swedes in Sweden compared to older Finnish-speakers in Sweden (part III). Migration (parts III, IV) and ageing (parts I, II, IV) were reflected in the health of older persons.

Methods: The sample was obtained from the Population Register Centre of Finland and Statistics Sweden. The target groups consisted of 982 persons. The data was collected in structured oral and taped interviews, semi-structured taped interviews, structured interview forms, and postal enquiries. The data were analyzed through a hermeneutic approach with core narratives, thematic qualitative content analysis, cumulative multiple regression analysis, and chi-square test.

Results: The experiential health of older persons manifested itself in personality, physical health, social relations, and society. More than a half of the respondents rated their health as good. Better health was reported with less medicine, no pain/suffering, better functional capacity, more zest for life, and better financial position. Older Finland-Swedes in Sweden reported better health than the Finnish-speaking respondents in Sweden. Migration had caused difficulties in connection with the move to Sweden and with working life in Sweden. Ill-health and ageing could cause problems with remigration. Ageing involved an adjustment in setting own health and the present in perspective. The results showed that older persons could contribute knowledge about health factors.

Conclusions: From the perspective of public health science and health promotion, it is relevant to present minority groups from the vantage point of resources. It is essential to realize that there can be health differences between minorities, within minorities, and among ethnic minorities. Social and cultural variations can affect the way older persons evaluate their health. Older persons in minorities can be more vulnerable owing to ill-health, migration and gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nordic School of Public Health NHV Göteborg, Sweden, 2009. 57 p.
Series
NHV Reports and Doctor of Public Health-Theses, ISSN 0283-1961 ; NHV Report 2009:9
Keyword
health promotion, migration, minorities, self-rated health, experiential health, ageing, older persons., hälsofrämjande, migration, mi noriteter, självskattad hälsa, upplevd hälsa, åldrande, äldre personer
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3698 (URN)978-91-85721-69-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-11-06, Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Göteborg, Sweden, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-02-05 Created: 2015-02-03 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved

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