A qualitative study to explore health literacy in immigrants with inflammatory arthritis

project manager


phd fellow

About the project

Many patients with an immigrant background in rheumatology departments have challenges in understanding and speaking Norwegian. International studies have shown that patients with an immigrant background and rheumatic disease have poorer treatment outcomes than the majority population. There is also a higher proportion of patients with an immigrant background who receive benefits from NAV. However, we know little about what barriers patients with an immigrant background experience in their encounters with health services and NAV and how their needs for health and welfare services can best be met. We also lack knowledge about the barriers experienced by health and welfare personnel when dealing with immigrants with low Norwegian language comprehension. We know that there is little interaction between the health services and NAV, and that NAV employees lack knowledge about the users' health challenges.

In this project, we will explore how communication between health professionals and immigrant patients with rheumatic disease can be improved and how education, counseling and training activities for two immigrant groups can be improved to achieve better treatment outcomes. Furthermore, we will explore patients' experiences with guidance from NAV and how communication and cooperation between health services and NAV can be improved. We will also explore the training and education needs of health professionals and NAV staff to better meet the needs of users.

Who can participate?

Adult patients (over 18 years of age) with rheumatic disease and an immigrant background, who are native speakers of Polish or Urdu and have a permanent residence permit in Norway.

Health professionals, including GPs and staff of NAV offices who meet patients/users with rheumatic disease in their practice.

Project arrangement

In the study, we will conduct qualitative interviews with patients/users. We will also conduct focus group interviews with healthcare professionals and NAV staff.

The study is scheduled to start in 2023.


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