Arabic-speaking male immigrants' perceptions of preventive initiatives: An interview study

Marie Dahl*, Susanne F. Søndergaard, Rafel Salman Al-Allaq, Axel Diederichsen, Jes S. Lindholt

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Arabic-speaking men are a sparsely investigated population in health promotion and disease prevention. This may hamper their ability to achieve the highest obtainable health due to less accessibility and acceptability of preventive measures. Aim: We explored Arabic-speaking (Palestinian, Iraqi and Somali) male immigrants' perceptions of preventive initiatives in general and such initiatives for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in particular to understand how to address inequalities in engagement in prevention. Methods: This qualitative study employed content analysis of semistructured interviews with 60–66-year-old Arabic-speaking men living in Denmark. Supplementary, structured data, for example, health data, were collected. From June to August 2020, 10 men were interviewed. Findings: Preventive initiatives were found ethically and culturally acceptable alongside personally and socially relevant; they were perceived as humanitarian and caring for the participants' health, respecting of their self-determination and enabling their empowerment. Thus, the participants entreated that their fellow countrymen be assisted in achieving the prerequisite coping capabilities to address inequality in access, perceived acceptance and relevance. This led us to define one main category ‘Preventive initiatives - Caring and humanitarian aid empower us’ with the underlying subcategories: ‘We are both hampered and strengthened by our basic assumptions’ and ‘We need help to achieve coping capabilities enabling us to engage in preventive initiatives’. Conclusion: Prevention was perceived as acceptable and relevant. Even so, Arabic-speaking men may be a hard-to-reach group due to their basic assumptions and impaired capabilities for engaging in prevention. Addressing inequality in accessibility, acceptability and relevance in regard to prevention may be promoted through a person-centred approach embracing invitees' preferences, needs and values; and by strengthening invitees' health literacy through efforts at the structural, health professional and individual levels. Public Contribution: This study was based on interviews. The interviewees were recruited as public representatives to assist us in building an understanding of Arabic-speaking male immigrants' perceptions of preventive initiatives in general and preventive initiatives for CVD in particular.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1618-1627
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • cardiovascular disease
  • healthcare disparities
  • immigrants
  • men
  • prevention
  • public involvement
  • screening
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Arabs
  • Male
  • Health Promotion
  • Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Emigrants and Immigrants
  • Adaptation, Psychological


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