Return Migration among Elderly, Chronically Ill Bosnian Refugees: Does Health Matter?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Elderly migrants constitute a considerable share of global return migration; nevertheless, literature on the health aspects of the return migration among these migrants is still scarce. This study explores the significance of return migration among elderly, chronically ill Bosnian refugees from Denmark and the role of health issues in their decision to return. It is based on semi-structured interviews with 33 elderly, chronically ill Bosnian refugees who have moved back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 10 elderly, chronically ill Bosnian refugees who have remained in Denmark. The interviews show that physical health, in the sense of the absence of illness and easy access to necessary health-care services and medicines, was not highly prioritized when the decision was made whether or not to return. However, if health is regarded more broadly as involving more than mere physical health and the absence of illness, health did matter. Viewed as physical, social and mental well-being in line with WHO’s definition of health, health was indeed one of the most important factors when the decision to return was made.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume12
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)12643-12661
Number of pages19
ISSN1661-7827
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2015

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