Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Major

Nursing

Date of Defense

7-9-2012

Graduate Advisor

Kuei-Hsiang Hsueh, PhD, RN

Committee

Susann Farberman, DNP

Susann Farberman

P. Ariel Burgess

Abstract

Background: Since 1975 the U.S. has resettled 2.6 million refugees who had to flee from their home countries. Many refugee resettlement organizations have developed different models of innovation to promote a smooth transition between previous foreign refugee camps to U.S. communities so that refugees swiftly become economically and socially self-sufficient. Providing refugees with health benefits and resources has been foremost priority upon arrival as they try to overcome health care barriers. Yet there is a lack of literature examining the impact of these health services and how they are perceived by the program recipients. Purpose: This scholarly project aimed to evaluate the feasibility and perceptions of health services provided by a large refugee resettlement agency in the Midwest region of the U.S. Methods: The qualitative pilot study used four focus groups to interview a convenience sample of 39 individuals who were clients of a large refugee resettlement agency in the Midwest U.S. The transcribed interviews from each focus group were analyzed by deriving dominant themes to understand the feasibility and perceptions of the health services provided by the resettlement agency and other organizations. Their attitudes and beliefs about preventive health care services and their impression of U.S. health care were also explored to identify education needs and future program development. Results: Results of the study revealed that their impression of U.S. health care was full of waiting and calling for appointments, emergency room delays, a lack of clear communication and difficulty navigating the insurance system. Their perceptions of health screenings were that they were familiar with these tests, but would like a copy of the results. They were confused with TB test results and valued vaccine information sheets. Their overall attitude toward U.S. health care among the four focus groups varied. Their beliefs about preventive care focused on cleanliness and they were unlikely to access preventive health services due to cost. Conclusion: Findings suggest additional efforts are necessary to further address health needs of the resettled refugee population. This project adds new information to make lasting health care improvements enabling refugees to thrive within their new communities.

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Nursing Commons

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