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Table 2 Definitions and measures of transnationalisma

From: A scoping review on the measurement of transnationalism in migrant health research in high-income countries

  1st author, year (reference #) Study’s definition of Transnationalism Administration Method Languageb, Translationc No. of items Response format
Y/N =
Yes / No format
Transnationalism dimension assessed Quality appraisal
Internal consistency (C)d
Social Cultural Economic Political Attitude/Identity Healthcare
1 Afulani, 2015 [27] Process by which migrants forge and sustain social relations that link their country of origin and destination country, or the maintenance of activities that require regular contact across borders In-person interview French (SL)
Unspecified mother tongue (O)e
9 Y/N
(then scored out of 9)
X X X X    C = 0.60
Afulani, 2016 [21]
2 Alcantara, 2015 [29] Frequent and enduring social, economic, political, or cultural ties between two or more countries In-person interview Eng (SL)
Spa (?)f
2 Continuous X   X     
Alcantara, 2015 [28] 2 Y/N & continuous X   X     
Gelatt, 2013 [34] The process by which immigrants build social fields that link together their country of origin and destination country Eng (SL)
Unspecified mother tongue (?)f
4 Y/N & categorical X   X   X   
Torres, 2016 [22] The dual involvement of migrants in social life, religious and cultural practices, healthcare and social service systems, and political activities and entrepreneurial ventures across nation-state boundaries Eng (SL)
Spa (?)f
2 Y/N & categorical X   X     
Torres, 2019 [43] Immigrants’ contact with family and friends in their country of origin through long-distance communication, remittance-sending, political participation and return visits 2 Y/N & categorical X       
3 Ambugo, 2016 [46] Remittances: money sent by migrants to family / friends living abroad or in the same destination country but in separate household Interview Eng 2 Y/N & continuous    X     
4 Amoyaw, 2016 [30] Redefining, reproducing, and maintaining ties with relatives and friends in the country of origin; remittances are the oldest and most popular form of transnational behavior Interview Eng (SL)
Unspecified mother tongue (?)f
3 Y/N & continuous (converted to a categorical variable)   X X     
Calvasina, 2015 [31] Medical transnationalism: returning to the country of origin for the sole purpose of obtaining healthcare; transnational dental care = seeking dental care across national borders, and can involve opportunistic dental visits while traveling to country of origin 1 Y/N       X  
Shooshtari, 2014 [40] Remittances: money sent by immigrants to family members in their country of origin 2 Y/N & continuous    X     
5 Araujo Dawson, 2010 [69] Not provided In-person self-completed survey, assistance provided as needed Eng (SL)
Spa (B)f
21 Average score computed X X X X    C = 0.84
Murphy, 2004 [13] Maintenance of occupations / activities that necessarily require regular social contact over time across borders and / or cultures In-person or online self-completed survey Eng 6-point Likert scale (0–5) C = 0.87
6 Araujo Dawson, 2018 [32] Back and forth migration (i.e. familial, political, economic, and social activities) between destination and country of origin Telephone survey Eng (SL)
Spa (?)
10 Y/N
(then scored out of 10)
X   X X X   
7 Burholt, 2016 [65] Process by which migrants forge and sustain multi-stranded social relations through the creation of cross-border networks In-person interview Eng (SL)
Punjabi, Gujarati, Hindi, Mandarin, Bengali, Somali, Yoruba, Urdu (B)
13 Categorical & continuous
(converted into a categorical variable using latent variable modelling)
X   X     
8 Chang, 2018 [55] “Kirogi family”: a transnational living arrangement whereby one parent accompanies their child (ren) to an English-speaking country for educational purposes while the other remains in Korea to support them financially Online or mailed survey Eng (SL)
Korean (B)
1 Y/N X       
9 De Jesus, 2013 [47] Transnational healthcare use: seeking health care outside the US to overcome access barriers to healthcare Telephone survey Eng (SL)
Spa (?)
2 Y/N      X X  
10 Dito, 2017 [56] Transnational parents: those that migrate and leave their child (ren) in the country of origin in the care of another family member, while also participating in raising their children across borders In-person interview Eng (?)g
or Dut (?)g
1 Y/N X       
Haagsman, 2018 [63] Transnational families: when men / women migrate without their nuclear families (i.e. parents migrate while children remain in the country of origin in the care of others) Eng (?)f,g
or Dut (?)g
Por (B)f
2 Y/N & categorical X       
Haagsman, 2014 [67] 2 Y/N & categorical X   X     
Haagsman, 2015 [57] 1 Y/N X       
Mazzucato, 2017 [59] 2 Y/N X   X     
White, 2019 [62] Transnational families: families who live apart but retain a sense of collective welfare and identity across national borders Eng (?)f,g
or Dut (?)g
2 Y/N
& categorical
X   X     
11 Djundeva, 2020 [33] Migrants actively construct multiple social relations that bring the country of origin and destination country together Online survey & computer-assisted personal interview Dut (SL)
Polish (?)
5 Y/N & continuous X X X   X   
Van den Broek, 2017 [50] Transnational relationships: migrants with a partner living abroad 2 Categorical X       
12 Flippen, 2015 [70] Process of exchange, connection, and mobility across national borders In-person interview Eng (SL)
Spa (?)
2 Y/N & categorical X     X   
13 Gherghina, 2020 [66] Return intentions: the result of integration in the destination country, transnationalism, and the interaction between the two Transnationalism: attachment to the country of origin Online survey Not specified 1 Y/N      X   
14 Greder, 2009 [52] Means by which migrants maintain connections with their country of origin while continuing to develop relationships in destination communities In-person interview Eng (SL)
Spa (T)f
5 Y/N
(then scored out of 5 and then converted to a categorical variable)
X X X     
15 Horn, 2020 [58] A phenomenon where migrants, through daily activities, forge and sustain multi-stranded social, economic, and political relations that link together their societies of origin and settlement In-person interview or self-report survey Not specified:
Maybe Spa (SL)g
6 Y/N & categorical X X X   X   
16 Humphries, 2009 [51] Remittances: money sent by migrants to their families in the country of origin Mailed survey Eng 3 Y/N, continuous & categorical    X     
17 Jang, 2017 [54] The extent to which migrants maintain links to their homeland; Medical transnationalism: receiving medical care from the country of origin (may not require migrants to actually visit) Self-report survey Eng 2 Y/N & categorical X      X  
18 Johnson, 2008 [64] Remittances: money / goods sent to relatives in the country of origin Self-report survey Eng (SL)
Ara (T)
3 Continuous & categorical    X     
19 Kempainnen, 2018 [35] Cross-border healthcare: returning to the country of origin for healthcare In-person interview Finnish (SL)
Russian (?)f
1 Y/N       X  
20 Klok, 2017 [36] Transnational belonging: sense of belonging directed to own group in the country of origin In-person interview Dut (SL)
Turkish (O)f
Moroccan (O)f
Ara/Darijia (O)f
Tarafit (O)f
6 Categorical
(but each item was treated as a score)
X     X X cultural identity: C = 0.67; feelings of loss: C = 0.70
21 McCabe, 2017 [60] Transnational parenting: separation of families, particularly of mothers from children In-person interview Eng (SL)
Spa (?)f
1 Y/N & categorical X       
22 Miranda, 2005 [61] Transnational separation: parents (mothers) migrating and leaving their child (ren) behind In-person interview Eng (SL)
Spa (?)f
1 Y/N X       
23 Nielsen, 2012 [48] Patient mobility: patients’ deliberate movements across international borders to seek planned healthcare Computer-assisted telephone interview or online survey Eng (?)g
or Danish (?)g
Turkish (B)f
2 Y/N       X  
24 Pannetier, 2017 [37] Cross-border family separation and transnational ties particularly in the form of financial transfers In-person interview French (SL)
Unspecified mother tongue (O)e
2 Y/N & categorical X       
25 Razum, 2019 [38] Migrants have resources at their disposition that relate to transnational ties / practices that connect them to their country of origin; transnationalism may vary in degree and vary across social life, familial, economic, sociocultural, or political spheres Interview Not specified: Maybe German (SL)g 7 Y/N
(then scored out of 7 and then converted to a categorical variable)
X X X   X   
26 Samari, 2016 [39] Social, material, and emotional support migrants exchange with their countries of origin In-person interview Eng (SL)
Ara (B)f
21 Y/N & categorical
(Average score then computed for each dimension)
X X   X X   cross-border attitudes: C = 0.72; media consumption: C = 0.63; social ties: C = 0.65; community organizations: C = 0.84
27 Snel, 2006 [68] Transnational migration: pattern of migration in which migrants settle in a new country while maintaining ongoing social connections with their country of origin; people living their lives across international borders In-person interview Preferred language of migrants from Morocco, Dutch Antilles, Iraq, former Yugoslavia, Japan, and the United States (?)f,g 17 + 50 statements on identity Y/N & categorical (Scores were also calculated) X X X X X   sense of belonging to home country: C = 0.81; norms and values of home country: C = 0.86; norms and values of international diaspora: C = 0.84
28 Su, 2012 [49] Cross-border health utilization: physically seeking healthcare across borders Telephone interview Eng
Spa (?)
2 Y/N       X  
29 Torres, 2013 [41] Participation of activities in or related to migrants’ country of origin, may include a range of dimensions (i.e. economic, political, cultural) Telephone survey Eng (SL)
Spa (?)f
5 Y/N X   X     
30 Torres, 2018 [42] Migrants maintaining social connections to family / friends both locally and in their countries of origin In-person interview Eng (SL)
Spa (?)
1 Categorical X       
Torres, 2016 [44] Social, political, economic, and cultural spaces formed and reworked by migrants in the destination and country of origin, and the flow of capital, goods, ideas, and individuals within these spaces 2 Categorical X       
31 Vaquera, 2011 [45] The development of networks, activities, and patterns of living that span origin and destination countries Telephone survey Eng (SL)
Spa (T)
Haitian Creole (T)
8 Categorical X X X   X   
32 Wang, 2015 [53] Medical transnationalism: migrants’ efforts to maintain and make use of transnational ties with the country of origin in managing their health and well-being Interview Eng (SL)
Korean (T)f
8 Y/N X X X     
  1. aStudies that used the same measure (or parts of the same measure) are grouped together; 32 measures were used across all of the studies
  2. bEng English, Ara Arabic, Spa Spanish, Dut Dutch, Por Portuguese
  3. cSL source language (i.e., the original language of the measure), T simple direct translation, B Translation & back-translation, O Oral translation,? = translation process unclear
  4. dChronbach’s alpha
  5. eProfessional interpreter
  6. fBilingual/bicultural interviewer
  7. gUnclear source language