Migration influences on the allostatic load of children: Systematic review protocol

Ivan Neil GOMEZ, Cynthia YY LAI, Trevor WK YUNG, Che Hin Chetwyn CHAN, Hector WH TSANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Background: Migration is a worldwide phenomenon in recent times. Recently, documented studies suggest that the change in environments involved in migration may have an influence on children's allostatic load related to health and well-being.

Objective: The aim of this review is to systematically search the extant literature and critically examine the evidence on how migration affects allostatic load in children and describe the relevant methods in measuring allostatic load.

Methods: A systematic review will be conducted to recapitulate the evidence on the influence of migration on allostatic load and describe the methods employed in measuring allostatic load parameters among migrant children using the following search terms combinations: 1) allostasis OR allostatic OR allostatic load OR allosta*; 2) migration OR migrant OR immigration OR immigrant OR migra* OR *migra*; and 3) children OR child* OR adolescen*. We will search for peer-reviewed articles in English using a three-step process: title and abstract review, individual article review, and reference hand-searching among the following databases: Medline, CINAHL, ProQuest, PubMed, Science Direct and BioMed Central. Two independent review authors will analyze for data quality, level of evidence and risk of bias; a third review author will be consulted if consensus cannot be met. Data on study details, participant characteristics, allostatic load operationalization and description, methods, and results summary will be extracted. Evidence will be synthesized statistically when possible and narratively clustered into themes.

Results: At present, we have conducted only a preliminary search to test out our search terms. The systematic search, appraisal, synthesis and analysis will be finished by June 2018. It is projected that the manuscript that describes the systematic review will be available by the last quarter of 2018.

Conclusions: The results of this systematic review have implications on supporting the concept of allostasis as a mechanism underlying the adaptive processes related to migration. Furthermore, our findings can lead to the development of innovative evidence-informed evaluation and intervention programs aimed at migrant children's needs. Likewise, it is hoped that this review can be an impetus to inform health and sociopolitical policies responsive of migrant children's current contexts. Copyright © 2018 Ivan Neil Gomez, Cynthia YY Lai, Trevor WK Yung, Chetwyn CH Chan, Hector WH Tsang.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


Gomez, I. N., Lai, C. Y. Y., Yung, T. W. K., Chan, C. C. H., & Tsang, H. W. H. (2018). Migration influences on the allostatic load of children: Systematic review protocol. JMIR Research Protocols, 7(1). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2196/resprot.8332


  • Migration
  • Allostatic load
  • Allostasis
  • Children


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