The trends in research on the health of North Korean refugees

Hyun Ju Lim, Guna Lee, Sook Ja Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to identify the general characteristics, subjects, and methods of research on the health of North Korean refugees through a systematic literature review. Methods: A total of 140 studies on health were reviewed using the analytical framework developed by the researchers. Results: The quantitative research comprised 90.7% of the studies, whereas the qualitative research were 7.9% of them. Approximately 81.4% of those reviewed have publication dates spanning 2006 to 2015. Only 13.6% of the studies were conducted with the approval of an institutional review board. The subjects of studies were psycho-social health (151.8%), behavioral health (28.5%), cognitive health (15.0%), physical health (12.2%), integrated health (7.8%), and spiritual health (2.8%). Within the quantitative studies reviewed, the most commonly used study design was survey research (86.0%). The two sampling methods used most often were convenience sampling (53.5%) and snowball sampling (19.4%), and the most commonly used data-collection method were questionnaires (94.6%). As for the qualitative studies, the most commonly used study design was phenomenology. Conclusion: The results suggested that the reviewed studies focused on physical health more than psycho-social health, and physiological measurement more than questionnaires. Ethical considerations need to be expanded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-155
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Democratic people's republic of Korea
  • Health
  • Review


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