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Knowledge and utilization of sexual and reproductive healthcare services among Thai immigrant women in Sweden

Åkerman, Eva; Östergren, Per Olof LU ; Essén, Birgitta; Fernbrant, Cecilia LU and Westerling, Ragnar (2016) In BMC International Health and Human Rights 16(1).
Abstract

Background: Migration from Thailand to Sweden has increased threefold over the last 10 years. Today Thailand is one of the most common countries of origin among immigrants in Sweden. Since the year 2000, new HIV cases are also more prevalent among Thai immigrants compared to other immigrant nationalities in Sweden. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between knowledge and utilization of sexual and reproductive healthcare services, contraceptive knowledge and socio-demographic characteristics and social capital among Thai immigrant women in Sweden. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study using a postal questionnaire to all Thai women (18-64) in two Swedish regions, who immigrated to the country between 2006 and... (More)

Background: Migration from Thailand to Sweden has increased threefold over the last 10 years. Today Thailand is one of the most common countries of origin among immigrants in Sweden. Since the year 2000, new HIV cases are also more prevalent among Thai immigrants compared to other immigrant nationalities in Sweden. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between knowledge and utilization of sexual and reproductive healthcare services, contraceptive knowledge and socio-demographic characteristics and social capital among Thai immigrant women in Sweden. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study using a postal questionnaire to all Thai women (18-64) in two Swedish regions, who immigrated to the country between 2006 and 2011. The questionnaire was answered by 804 women (response rate 62.3 %). Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used. Results: The majority (52.1 %) of Thai women had poor knowledge of where they should turn when they need sexual and reproductive healthcare services. After controlling for potential confounders, living without a partner (OR = 2.02, CI: 1.16-3.54), having low trust in others (OR = 1.61, CI: 1.10-2.35), having predominantly bonding social capital (OR = 1.50, CI: 1.02-2.23) and belonging to the oldest age group (OR = 2.65, CI: 1.32-5.29) were identified as risk factors for having poor knowledge. The majority (56.7 %) had never been in contact with healthcare services to get advice on contraception, and about 75 % had never been HIV/STI tested in Sweden. Low utilization of healthcare was associated with poor knowledge about healthcare services (OR = 6.07, CI: 3.94-9.34) and living without a partner (OR = 2.53, CI: 1.30-4.90). Most Thai women had knowledge of how to prevent an unwanted pregnancy (91.6 %) and infection with HIV/STI (91.1 %). Conclusions: The findings indicate that social capital factors such as high trust in others and predominantly bridging social capital promote access to knowledge about healthcare services. However, only one-fourth of the women had been HIV/STI tested, and due to the HIV prevalence among Thai immigrants in Sweden, policy makers and health professionals need to include Thai immigrants in planning health promotion efforts and healthcare interventions.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Healthcare utilization, HIV/STI, Immigration, Social capital, Thai women
in
BMC International Health and Human Rights
volume
16
issue
1
pages
14 pages
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • scopus:84991444247
  • wos:000384947700001
ISSN
1472-698X
DOI
10.1186/s12914-016-0100-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
eb4ff2e5-aa05-484a-ac5d-71a165cbc0f6
date added to LUP
2016-10-31 12:29:36
date last changed
2017-01-31 03:00:06
@article{eb4ff2e5-aa05-484a-ac5d-71a165cbc0f6,
  abstract     = {<p>Background: Migration from Thailand to Sweden has increased threefold over the last 10 years. Today Thailand is one of the most common countries of origin among immigrants in Sweden. Since the year 2000, new HIV cases are also more prevalent among Thai immigrants compared to other immigrant nationalities in Sweden. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between knowledge and utilization of sexual and reproductive healthcare services, contraceptive knowledge and socio-demographic characteristics and social capital among Thai immigrant women in Sweden. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study using a postal questionnaire to all Thai women (18-64) in two Swedish regions, who immigrated to the country between 2006 and 2011. The questionnaire was answered by 804 women (response rate 62.3 %). Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used. Results: The majority (52.1 %) of Thai women had poor knowledge of where they should turn when they need sexual and reproductive healthcare services. After controlling for potential confounders, living without a partner (OR = 2.02, CI: 1.16-3.54), having low trust in others (OR = 1.61, CI: 1.10-2.35), having predominantly bonding social capital (OR = 1.50, CI: 1.02-2.23) and belonging to the oldest age group (OR = 2.65, CI: 1.32-5.29) were identified as risk factors for having poor knowledge. The majority (56.7 %) had never been in contact with healthcare services to get advice on contraception, and about 75 % had never been HIV/STI tested in Sweden. Low utilization of healthcare was associated with poor knowledge about healthcare services (OR = 6.07, CI: 3.94-9.34) and living without a partner (OR = 2.53, CI: 1.30-4.90). Most Thai women had knowledge of how to prevent an unwanted pregnancy (91.6 %) and infection with HIV/STI (91.1 %). Conclusions: The findings indicate that social capital factors such as high trust in others and predominantly bridging social capital promote access to knowledge about healthcare services. However, only one-fourth of the women had been HIV/STI tested, and due to the HIV prevalence among Thai immigrants in Sweden, policy makers and health professionals need to include Thai immigrants in planning health promotion efforts and healthcare interventions.</p>},
  author       = {Åkerman, Eva and Östergren, Per Olof and Essén, Birgitta and Fernbrant, Cecilia and Westerling, Ragnar},
  issn         = {1472-698X},
  keyword      = {Healthcare utilization,HIV/STI,Immigration,Social capital,Thai women},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {14},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {BMC International Health and Human Rights},
  title        = {Knowledge and utilization of sexual and reproductive healthcare services among Thai immigrant women in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12914-016-0100-4},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2016},
}