Utilisation of Healthcare Services and Medicines by Pakistani Migrants Residing in High Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis

  • Ahsan SaleemEmail author
  • Kathryn J. Steadman
  • Jasmina Fejzic
Review Paper


Migration, as a global phenomenon, gives rise to many challenges for healthcare professionals providing care to migrant populations. Migrants originating from diverse cultural backgrounds have unique beliefs and healthcare needs, and their utilisation of healthcare services and medicines is influenced by a number of factors. This review aims to assess the factors influencing the utilisation of healthcare services and medicines among Pakistani migrants residing in high income countries. The databases searched included PubMed/Medline, Scopus, EMBASE, Web of Science, CINAHL, and IPA. Of the 2566 publications initially obtained, 37 met the inclusion criteria. They included eight countries—the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Australia, United Arab Emirates and Cyprus. Eight descriptive themes emerged and two analytical constructs were established, as a result of thematic synthesis of included publications. The profile of utilisation of healthcare services and medicines among Pakistani migrants was multifaceted and influenced by their individual circumstances (socioeconomic characteristics; personal beliefs, preferences, and experiences; individual culture and religion; family and friends; and language and communication), and host country characteristics (work environment; healthcare organisation, access and affordability; and health professionals’ education, practices, and preferences). Awareness of population-specific characteristics of migrant communities is important to promote and implement culturally appropriate healthcare practices and service provision.


Healthcare utilisation Medicines use Pharmacy Cultural competence Migrants 



AS is supported by University of Queensland Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have indicated they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PharmacyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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