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Evidence-based clinical guidelines for immigrants and refugees.

Evidence-based clinical guidelines for immigrants and refugees.
Pottie K, Greenaway C, Feightner J, Welch V, Swinkels H, Rashid M, Narasiah L, Kirmayer LJ, Ueffing E, MacDonald NE, Hassan G, McNally M, Khan K, Buhrmann R, Dunn S, Dominic A, McCarthy AE, Gagnon AJ, Rousseau C, Tugwell P, Coauthors of the Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Healt
Can. Med. Assoc. J.
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Background info on the guidelines:

This guideline paper presents 25 internationally unique evidence-based clinical recommendations designed to help practitioners meet the health needs of newly arriving migrant populations.

New evidence based methods were developed incorporating Cochrane Review methods and the GRADE methods approach for developing guidelines. The guidelines differ from other migrant health guidelines because of the insistence on finding evidence for clear benefits before recommending routine interventions. The 20 topics (MMR, TDPP, TB, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Intestinal Parasites Malaria, Depression, PTSD, Intimate Partner Violence, Child Maltreatment, Diabetes, Oral Health, Vision Disorders, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Cervical Cancer, Pregnancy and Unmet Contraceptive Needs) were selected based on a Delphi consensus process to address equity gaps for migrant populations.

Migration is a global issue that requires evidence-based responses.  There are over 214 million international migrants worldwide and the WHO has declared migrant health as an important pillar for health strategies. In Canada, the growth, vitality, and quality of life of many regions depends on their capacity to attract and accommodate new migrants; migration accounts for most of Canada's population growth and Canada recognizes migrant health as a priority to ensure effective integration of migrants.

Created by the Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health, the five-year international evidence review involved more than 150 investigators, including 43 Canadian family doctors.  The project also included advisors from the International Organization for Migration, the Centres for Disease Control, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Evidence and methods presented in this paper will support the tailoring of existing practice and policies to meet the unique needs of migrant populations.  For example, primary care practitioners can introduce new recommendations into their electronic medical records, policymakers can tailor existing polices and outreach programs, and Ontario Tele Health can now develop protocols relevant to its culturally diverse populations.


Evidence-based clinical guidelines for immigrants and refugees. Pottie K, Greenaway C, Feightner J, Welch V, Swinkels H, Rashid M et al. Can. Med. Assoc. J. 2011; 183:E824-E925.

Page last updated: Mar 01, 2012
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