Qualification programmes for immigrant health professionals: A systematic review

Autoři: Sidra Khan-Gökkaya aff001;  Sanna Higgen aff001;  Mike Mösko aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Research Group on Migration and Psychosocial Health, Hamburg, Germany aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224933



Immigrant health professionals are a particularly vulnerable group in a host country’s labour market, as they face several barriers when re-entering their occupations. International studies indicate that early interventions can increase the employability of immigrants. Qualification programmes are one of these early interventions that can support the re-integration of these health professionals into the labour market. The purpose of this review is to identify international qualification programmes for immigrant health professionals, analyse their content and evaluate their effectiveness.


Six international databases (PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL, PsychInfo, EBSCO and ProQuest Social Sciences) were systematically searched. The search terms were identified using the PICOS-framework. The review was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Articles were screened independently by two authors and discussed. Studies included in the final synthesis were assessed with the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) and Kirkpatrick’s Training Evaluation Model.


Out of 10,371 findings, 31 articles were included in the final synthesis. The majority of them were addressed to international health care professionals and doctors. Two of them were addressed to refugee doctors. Three types of programme elements were identified: teaching, clinical practise and social support. The programmes’ length ranged from 2 days to up to 2.5 years. Despite recommendations in its favour, pre- and post-programme support was scarce. Results also indicate a lack of transparency and quality in terms of evaluation. Effectiveness was mostly observed in the area of language improvement and an increase in self-confidence.


This review points out the lack of systematically evaluated qualification programmes for immigrant health professionals. Programme providers should focus on implementing programmes for all health professionals as well as for underrepresented groups, such as refugees. In order to generate best practises it is necessary to evaluate these programmes. This requires the development of appropriate instruments when working with immigrant population in the context of educational programmes.

Klíčová slova:

Global health – Health care policy – Labor markets – Language – Medical doctors – Nurses – Professions – Non-randomized controlled trials


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2019 Číslo 11