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Press Release

Press Release

Doctoral Thesis in Information Studies

Hamed Ahmadinia.
Hamed Ahmadinia

M.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.) Hamed Ahmadinia’s doctoral thesis in Information Studies will be put forth for public defence at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics, and Law at Åbo Akademi University.

The thesis is entitled Navigating Cultural, Health, and Information Landscapes: A User-focused Approach to Immigrant Health in a Nordic Context.

The public defence of the doctoral thesis takes place on Monday 13 May 2024 at 1.15 PM at Lilla auditoriet, the ASA-house, Vänrikinkatu 3, Turku. Professor Ágústa Pálsdóttir, University of Iceland will serve as opponent and Professor Kristina Eriksson-Backa, Åbo Akademi University, as custos. You can also follow the defence online.


This thesis investigates the health information needs and service requirements of immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. It looks at how cultural backgrounds, social connections, and individual experiences influence their health behaviours, helping us better understand these communities. The research considers people from different situations, including those whose asylum applications have been rejected, highlighting how their specific circumstances affect their health information needs.

The study analyses data from six academic articles using a variety of methods like literature reviews, interviews, and surveys. This comprehensive approach allows a broad examination of the overall well-being of these groups, rather than focusing only on specific health issues. The findings deepen our insights into their health-related behaviours and needs.

A significant part of this thesis is proposing a new model proposing entitled “Health Acculturation Model of Enlightened Decision-Making” that shows how health beliefs, information access, and cultural factors influence health behaviours and outcomes in immigrants. It aligns with the person-in-context perspective and the social determinants of health framework, emphasising the essential role of information specialists as well as healthcare providers and others who share information in delivering culturally appropriate health information.

The interdisciplinary foundations of this dissertation span information science, service design, sociology, behavioural studies, and patient-centred design, among others.  It recommends using design principles that respect cultural differences and include everyone when creating information systems for immigrants. The findings provide valuable insights for policymakers, healthcare providers, and information professionals, suggesting strategies to integrate health information services into broader social and cultural contexts to promote health equity and improve health outcomes.

Hamed Ahmadinia can be reached by email hamed.ahmadinia@abo.fi.

The doctoral thesis can be read online through the Doria publication archive.

Click here for a press photo of the doctoral student.

Instructions for following the doctoral defence remotely:

To follow the defence, you need the Zoom software or the Google Chrome browser. You do not need to create a Zoom account to follow the defence. If you install the application, you participate by clicking on the meeting link, after which you should allow the link to open in the Zoom app.