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Clarity in research frameworks for studying ‘health selective migration’
  1. Paul D Norman
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paul D Norman, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK; p.d.norman{at}

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The roots of ‘health selective migration’ debates lie in 19th-century observations by William Farr and others. The underlying notions are: (1) people’s health relates to their residential locations; (2) people’s attributes are used for measures about places; and (3) people move between different locations.1 Maheswaran and colleagues2 recently add to the evidence in a study in Sheffield, UK.

This commentary highlights aspects of research operationalisation into health selective migration using examples from Maheswaran et al’s study.2 These authors point out that, while there are commonalities in findings, previous work has paradoxical results. Some differences will be because the inter-relationships between health, migration and area characteristics do vary. Some contradictory findings will be due to differences in what studies sought to determine alongside variations in geographic scale, time frame, and how area characteristics are incorporated. For health selective migration research, lines of enquiry include: ‘Does migration between origins and destinations affect health inequalities between areas?’ and ‘Does the health of migrants differ from others?’ …

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  • Contributors PDN is a sole author.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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