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Public Health


Pamm Kemp


Migration into the United States opens windows of opportunity, but also involves difficult experiences that impact the health of migrants. In this qualitative study, the meanings that Nigeria migrants (aged 65–80) placed on their migration experiences were explored in relation to their health and well-being. Literature revealed no prior migration study on this population. The social constructivist approach provided the framework for this study. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 13 participants that fell within the selection criteria. Face to face interview was used to obtain participants’ view of health; their challenges to adaptation to the United States; the impact of the American health system on them, and how the subjective meanings of their lived experiences presented to health care delivery. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and both manually and digitally coded. Findings showed that although culture and migrants’ experiences played important roles in their health and health-seeking behaviors, education and culturally sensitive programs have the potential to elicit behavioral changes. Study findings revealed positive social change implications in the following ways. First, health practitioners should incorporate needs assessment to promote sense of ownership among the target population, and foster active learning. Second, culturally sensitive health education programs could dispel unhealthy health habits, improve migrant health, and bridge the gap in health disparities. Lastly, health policies that improve the health of the target population could be developed. If health practitioners treat migration experience as part of the social determinants of health, this could positively enrich public health practice.