BACKGROUND: There is a well-established association between migration to high income countries and health status, with some groups reporting poorer health outcomes than the host population. However, processes that influence health behaviours and health outcomes across minority ethnic groups are complex and in addition, culture ascribes specific gender roles for men and women, which can further influence perspectives of health. The aim of this study was to undertake a comparative exploration of beliefs of health among male and female Ghanaian and Indian migrants and White British participants residing in an urban area within the UK.
METHODS: Thirty-six participants (12 each Ghanaian, Indian and White British) were recruited through community settings and participated in a semi-structured interview focusing on participant's daily life in the UK, perceptions of their own health and how they maintained their health. Interviews were analyzed using a Framework approach.
RESULTS: Three super ordinate themes were identified and labelled (a) beliefs about health; (b) symptom interpretation and (c) self-management and help seeking. Gender differences in beliefs and health behaviour practices were apparent across participants.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to undertake a comparative exploration of health beliefs among people who have migrated to the UK from Ghana and India and to compare with a local (White British) population. The results highlight a need to consider both cultural and gender-based diversity in guiding health behaviours, and such information will be useful in the development of interventions to support health outcomes among migrant populations.
- health beliefs
- health behaviours ghana