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Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

  • Reference work
  • © 2012


  • A repository of knowledge for a broad field of study containing 586 entries

  • Offers extensive cross-referencing to an interdisciplinary field of study

  • Draws from the fields of public health, psychology, anthropology, sociology and law

  • Edited by Sana Loue, Director of the Center for Minority Public Health and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Immigrant and Minority, and Martha Sajatovic, Director of Geropsychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Director of the Neurological Outcomes Center (NOC) at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

  • Health contributions from leading researchers and scholars from around the world

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About this book

There is increasing interest in the scientific literature on immigrant health and its impact on disease transmission, disease prevention, health promotion, well-being on an individual and population level, health policy, and the cost of managing all these issues on an individual, institutional, national, and global level. The need for accurate and up-to-date information is particularly acute due to the increasing numbers of immigrants and refugees worldwide as the result of natural disasters, political turmoil, the growing numbers of immigrants to magnet countries, and the increasing costs of associated health care that are being felt by governments around the world.

Format and Scope:

The first portion of the encyclopedia contains chapters that are approximately 25 to 40 manuscript pages in length. Each overview chapter includes a list of references and suggested readings for cross referencing within the encyclopedia.

The opening chapters are: Immigration in the Global Context, Immigration Processes and Health in the U.S.: A Brief History, Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Culture-Specific Diagnoses, Health Determinants, Occupational and Environmental Health, Methodological Issues in Immigrant Health Research, Ethical Issues in Research with Immigrants and Refugees, Ethical Issues in the Clinical Context.

The second portion of the book consists of alphabetical entries that relate to the health of immigrants.

Entries are interdisciplinary and are drawn from the following fields of study: anthropology, demographics, history, law, linguistics, medicine, population studies, psychology, religion, and sociology. Each entry is followed by a listing of suggested readings and suggested resources, and also links to related terms within the whole book.

Outstanding Features

The book adopts a biopsychosocial-historical approach to the topics covered in the chapters and the entries. Each entry includes suggested readings and suggested resources. The chapters and entries are written graduate level that is accessible to all academics, researchers, and professionals from diverse backgrounds. We consider the audience for the entries to be well educated, but a non expert in this area. The primary focus of the book is on the immigrant populations in and immigration to magnet countries. References are made to worldwide trends and issues arising globally.

In addition to the comprehensive subject coverage the text also offers diverse perspectives. The editors themselves reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the topics, with expertise in psychiatry, law, epidemiology, anthropology, and social work. Authors similarly reflect diverse disciplines.

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Table of contents (710 entries)

  1. Part 1 Immigrant Health Overview Chapters

  2. A


From the reviews:

“It covers a broad array of medical and social science topics related to immigrant health, and the well-written 140-page overview that introduces it could serve as a standalone survey or primer on the topic. This will be a welcome addition to the available books in global health, since there are few specific to immigrant health. … It will be of value to students and practitioners of public health, educators, and public health and social services providers.” (Laurence J. Fuortes, Doody’s Review Service, June, 2012)

“The entries are well-referenced, mainly to printed sources, and also carry suggestions for further reading, including useful websites. … The references and web sample dates mostly seem to go up to 2010, which is good going for such a complex book as this. … This encyclopedia can be recommended as a useful back-up … for nursing, social service and medical libraries … .” (Martin Guha, Reference Reviews, Vol. 26 (8), 2012)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, USA

    Sana Loue

  • Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA

    Martha Sajatovic

About the editors

The world is on the move, making immigration a vital factor in society. And while cultural sensitivity has long been essential in the training of health care providers, the concept of immigrant health has expanded greatly, encompassing a multidisciplinary, biopsychosocial perspective for what was once considered a fringe specialty.


The Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health distills the knowledge base of the field with background articles on broader concerns and alphabetically-arranged entries on the gamut of salient topics. Contributors represent disciplines from within the health and mental health fields (medicine, psychology, health education, nursing) and outside them (law, human rights, social work) for a well-rounded overview of immigrant concerns. Throughout, the Encyclopedia frames the issues authoritatively, modeling diversity and inclusiveness in the healing community. And it's written to be useful to non-medical readers as well as health care professionals. Included in the coverage:


·         A brief history of immigration processes and health issues in the U.S.

·         Health determinants of immigrants.

·         Culture-specific diagnoses.

·         Complementary and alternative medicine.

·         Ethical issues in clinical and research contexts.

·         Concise articles on immigrant health topics, from acculturation to vaccination, with references to print and web resources.


The Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health is an indispensable guide to a dynamic and rapidly evolving field, and it is certain to enhance the work of health care providers, public health professionals, agency personnel, advocates, and policymakers.

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