Understanding Refugees’ Perceptions of Health Care in the United States

Heidi J. Worabo, Kuei Hsiang Hsueh, Richard Yakimo, Essay Worabo, P. Ariel Burgess, Susann M. Farberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ongoing conflicts around the world have resulted in record numbers of refugees. Given the unique health care needs and access barriers refugees face upon resettlement in the United States, we aimed to better understand refugees’ perceptions of US health care as the first step to quality improvement initiatives. We used a qualitative approach by conducting 4 focus group interviews with refugees from Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia, and Bhutan. We identified 3 common themes: conflicting expectations, miscommunication, and varying levels of trust and satisfaction. Findings support in-person interpreters, cultural competency training, and integrated primary health care delivery models with stronger connections with resettlement agencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalJournal for Nurse Practitioners
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • culture
  • health care access
  • primary care
  • refugees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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