Healthcare access for Iraqi refugee children in Texas: persistent barriers, potential solutions, and policy implications.

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Abstract:

To identify access barriers to healthcare and potential interventions to improve access for Iraqi refugee children. Four focus groups were conducted using consecutive sampling of Iraqi refugee parents residing in the US for 8 months to 5 years. Eight key-informant interviews also were conducted with employees of organizations serving Iraqi refugee families, recruited using snowball sampling. Focus groups and interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using margin coding and grounded theory. Iraqi refugees identified provider availability, Medicaid maintenance and renewal, language issues, and inadequate recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder as barriers to care for their children. Interviewees cited loss of case-management services and difficulties in understanding the Medicaid renewal process as barriers. Potential interventions to improve access include community-oriented efforts to educate parents on Medicaid renewal, obtaining services, and accessing specialists. Given the enduring nature of language and Medicaid renewal barriers, policies addressing eligibility alone are insufficient.

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Citation:

Vermette, D., Shetgiri, R., Al Zuheiri, H., & Flores, G. (2015). Healthcare access for Iraqi refugee children in Texas: persistent barriers, potential solutions, and policy implications. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 17(5), 1526-1536.

About This Study:

Intervention(s): Case Management
Intervention Duration: 8 months
Relevant ORR Program: Refugee Health Promotion, Refugee Medical Assistance, Refugee Support Services
Study Type: Suggestive evidence
Full Text Availability: Free
Direction of Evidence: Positive impact
Strength of Evidence: Suggestive
Population(s): Refugees
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Children
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Middle East

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: