Guideline Categories:

Comprehensive Guidelines:

  1. Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health (CCIRH) Knowledge Exchange Network: Web practical, evidence-based recommendations to help practitioners effectively meet the broad range of needs presented by newcomers. Includes clinical tools, guidelines, and e-Learning modules.
  2. CMAJ Evidence-Based Clinical Guidelines for Immigrants and Refugees: Detailed, evidence-based guidelines about the care of immigrant and refugee patients. Includes information on specific health conditions, such as PTSD, Hepatitis B & C, dental disease, pregnancy and depression. Relevant to primary care providers.
  3. CMAJ Immigrant Health Resources: A complete listing of guidelines and journal articles pertaining to immigrant health published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
  4. Kids New to Canada: Canadian Paediatric Society resources for health professionals serving pediatric refugee and other newcomer populations. Topics include assessing and screening, medical conditions, health promotion, child development, and other factors unique to refugee/newcomer patients.
  5. Migrant Worker Health – Guide for Health Care Providers: A collection of resources compiled by the Migrant Worker Health Project for healthcare professionals caring for migrant workers. Resources include factsheets about migrant workers (e.g. living and employment conditions), information about the services and support migrant workers are entitled to (including details about health insurance), language guides, and specific clinical guidelines for migrant worker populations.

Assessment & Screening Guidelines:

  1. CMAJ Summary of Clinical Preventative Care Recommendations for Newly Arriving Immigrants & Refugees to Canada: Organized table of key recommendations and clinical considerations, along with their basis in evidence, on a wide spectrum of health topics pertaining to immigrants and refugees in Canada.
  2. Medical Assessment of Immigrant and Refugee Children: Checklists for Medical Assessment: A guide for family physicians and primary care physicians to assist with the initial medical assessment for immigrant and refugee children. The three sequential checklists are meant to be used for the initial assessment, 1st follow-up visit, and the 2nd follow-up visit. The source material includes evidence from the Canadian Collaboration Immigrant and Refugee Health, and information from Caring for Kids New to Canada. Helpfully, each checklist has embedded links which lead to reliable and detailed information (e.g. information about each health condition and how to screen for them).
  3. Caring for a Newly Arrived Syrian Refugee FamilyThis paper published in the CMAJ describes information to be kept in mind during a family doctor’s first appointment with a newly arrived Syrian refugee family. It provides contextual information on the Syrian civil war and Canada’s response of humanitarian resettlement of refugees. The guideline describes health interventions the family is likely to have encountered prior to this visit, and provides evidence-based recommendations on preventative interventions to be considered during this first visit with a family doctor in Canada (e.g. vaccine preventable diseases, HIV, TB, mental health screening). The guideline is reader-friendly and also includes useful resources.
  4. Brief Evidence-Based Preventative Care Checklist for New Immigrants & Refugees: Quick single-page overview of key guidelines for screening, immunizations, and treatments that are especially pertinent to newcomers or refugees.
  5. Medical Assessment of Refugee and Immigrant Children: Guidelines for the primary care physicians on initial, second, and follow-up visits. Includes practices in the initial medical assessment, required documentation, communication, history-taking, screening, and referrals.
  6. Taking a History with Newcomer Children and Adolescents: Guide sheet with suggested questions to explore immigration history, sociocultural dimensions of health and health beliefs, experience with discrimination, and performing a psychosocial assessment.
  7. CDC General Refugee Health Guidelines: CDC guidelines for the general screening practices that should be practiced among newly-arrived refugees.
  8. Domestic Examination for Newly Arrived Refugees: Guidelines & Discussion of the History and Physical Examination: Summary of CDC guidelines for history-taking and physical examination of newly arrived refugees, including aspects such as vaccinations, family, social, and systems histories.
  9. Screening During Pregnancy – Evidence Review for Newly Arriving Immigrants and Refugees: This study is an evidence review of the most common issues experienced by recently arrived pregnant immigrant and refugee women. The study summarizes the impact of social isolation, sexual abuse, hemoglobinopathy, exposure to workplace hazards, and female genital mutilation. It also summarizes common challenges to prenatal care experienced by recently arrived immigrant women. Additionally, it discusses the availability and gaps in practice guidelines in Canada to address the issues commonly faced by these pregnant mothers.
  10. Poverty: A Clinical Tool for Primary Care Providers – Ontario Edition: The following source is designed to be used over a series of visits. It provides key questions to screen patients for poverty and risk factors for poverty. The tool also includes information about tax and other government benefits, as well as online resources and services. View poverty tools for other provinces and territories at

Clinical Tools & Learning Resources:

  1. Evidence-Based Preventative Care Checklist for New Immigrants and Refugees: e-Learning tool for primary care physicians to put Canadian Immigrant Health Guidelines into practice. Consists of interactive checklists on examination, health education, screenings, immunizations etc. that adjust to the specific patient’s region of origin and visit (1st, 2nd, 3rd or later). Checklist items include links to relevant Cochrane Podcasts to support specific aspects of the visit.
  2. Refugees & Global Health eLearning: E-Learning modules for health professionals and medical students that cover a broad scope of topics specific to care for newcomers, including communication, assessing and managing various cases, interdisciplinary collaboration, etc. Based on case studies and lived experiences of experts, each module can provide a concise (10-15 minute) overview while allowing in-depth exploration of further resources provided.
  3. HIPC Community report on the health needs of Hamilton newcomers and immigrants: Qualitative research results on the general health needs of newcomers in Hamilton (relevant to health care providers, policymakers, and community agencies).
  4. Best practices for working with trauma-affected newcomers: This document outlines current evidence relating to the care of newcomer children and youth. Various diagnostic and intervention models for trauma-affected individuals are discussed.
  5. Primary Care for Refugees: Challenges and Opportunities: AAFP article that provides key recommendations for providing optimal primary care for refugee populations. The article also discusses unique barriers and challenges faced by refugee patients.
  6. Building Capacity to Care for Refugees: AAFP article discussing strategies for incorporating refugee health into primary care practices.