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Effects of health education for migrant females with psychosomatic complaints treated by general practitioners. A randomised controlled evaluation study

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Author: Kocken, P.L. · Zwanenburg, E.J.-v. · Hoop,
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Patient Education and Counseling, 1, 70, 25-30
Identifier: 240597
doi: doi:10.1016/j.pec.2007.09.016
Keywords: Health · General practice · Health education · Minority groups · Psychosomatic complaints · adult · aged · article · controlled study · coping behavior · disability · doctor patient relation · ethnicity · female · general practice · general practitioner · health care delivery · health education · health educator · human · life event · methodology · migrant worker · minority group · Morocco · Netherlands · outcome assessment · pain · patient care · patient compliance · patient counseling · patient education · priority journal · psychological aspect · psychosomatic disorder · social support · stress · turkey (bird) · Adaptation, Psychological · Adult · Aged · Family Practice · Female · Health Education · Humans · Middle Aged · Minority Groups · Morocco · Netherlands · Pain · Physician-Patient Relations · Program Evaluation · Psychophysiologic Disorders · Stress, Psychological · Transients and Migrants · Turkey · Healthy for Life · Healthy Living


Objective: : The effectiveness of use of migrant health educators in the general practitioners' care for female migrants with psychosomatic problems was evaluated to contribute to the improvement of the care for these patients. Methods: : A randomised controlled trial (RCT) design was used. A total of 104 patients (75%) agreed to take part in the intervention study. The patients were from Turkish and Moroccan immigrant groups living in The Netherlands. The intervention group received counselling and education from the migrant health educators as adjuncts to the GPs' care. Special attention was given to the patient's cultural background, supporting the communication between GP and patient. The control group received regular treatment from their GPs. Results: : A significant improvement of perceived general health, psychological health and reported ability to cope with pain was observed among the intervention group. No effects were found for social support and the perceived burden of stressful life-events. Conclusion: : The patients' perceived health and coping abilities improved through the intervention as a whole. Not all outcome measures had been affected due to among others the diversity of physical and psychological complaints the patients suffered from, non-compliance and a perceived decrease of disability over time. Practice implications: : The intervention methods should be integrated in the patient care delivery for migrants in general practice. Further development of intervention methods to address the patients' social support is recommended. © 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.