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© Onno Seyler/UKE

The Health of Migrants in Focus

For the first time in Germany, a research project at the Institute of Medical Psychology at the UKE examines the health of Turkish migrants

For the first time in Germany, the health situation and well-being of people with a Turkish migration background will be systematically examined in a representative survey. In the next six months, several thousand randomly selected German-Turkish households in Hamburg will receive a letter with the request to participate in a study at the Institute of Medical Psychology of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). Main campaigning are in Wilhelmsburg and Altona.

Huge Promotion to Raise Participation

“In the past, the willingness to participate in similar studies has been very low”, says Mike Mösko, psychologist and head of the survey conducted by the Institute for Medical Psychology at the UKE. In order to motivate German Turks living in Hamburg, the UKE launched an advertising campaign. Next to tourism heavyweight Vural Öger, five other influential Turkish-German locals promote participation in the survey, which is also supported by Turkish organisations and associations.

Results to Improve Healthcare for Turks

“The results are important to adjust the future health care of the Turks”, says Dr. Süleyman Keser, member of the executive board of the Turkish Community in Hamburg and surrounds. For Haluk Bekir Topalan from the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB North), the study is important in order to break down barriers. “The investigation may help to improve participation in health care.”

In addition to personal health assessment of migrants, the research group of the Institute for Medical Psychology UKE wants to find out about the resources being used in the German health care system, and any barriers hindering access to care. All data will be collected anonymously. “We want to know how people with Turkish roots feel about Germany, and how often they visit doctors or hospitals”, explains Mösko, who has already been conducting several studies on cultural differences in the health situation of migrants.

Uni Istanbul and Berlin’s Charité are Partners

Carried out at the UKE and the Charité in Berlin, the research project is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. Cooperation partner is the Marmara University in Istanbul. Parallel to the Hamburg survey, a second survey led by the psychologist Ulrike Kluge of the Charité in Berlin will be carried out in the German capital.

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