, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 1-10
Date: 17 Jul 2013

Primary Prevention for Resettled Refugees from Burma: Where to Begin?

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Abstract

Developing effective primary prevention initiatives may help recently arrived refugees retain some of their own healthy cultural habits and reduce the tendency to adopt detrimental ones. This research explores recent arrivals’ knowledge regarding eating behaviors, physical activity and sleep habits. Working collaboratively with community members, a healthy living curriculum was adapted and pilot tested in focus groups. A community-engaged approach to revising and implementing a health promotion tool was effective in beginning dialogue about primary prevention among a group of recently arrived refugees from Burma. Seven themes were identified as particularly relevant: food choices, living environment, health information, financial stress, mobility/transportation, social interaction and recreation, and hopes and dreams. Refugees desire more specific information about nutrition and exercise, and they find community health workers an effective medium for delivering this information. The outcomes of this study may inform future targeted interventions for health promotion with refugees from Burma.