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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Refugee healthcare in British Columbia : health status and barriers for gorvernment asssised refugees in accessing healthcare Rouhani, Setareh


Background: Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) have greater health needs than other immigrants due to their pre-migration and Canadian resettlement experiences. There is a lack of detailed research into their health status and access to healthcare services. This thesis investigated factors associated with reported health, mental health problems, number of annual physician visits and difficulties obtaining healthcare from a sample of GARs. Methods: Secondary data analysis was conducted on data from a study of GARs in BC who attended the Bridge Refugee Clinic during the 26 month period from April 2005 to May 2007. Multivariate logistic regression was used to model the factors associated with excellent health, mental health problems, physician visits and difficulties obtaining healthcare. Results: There were 177 participants in the study. Excellent health was inversely associated with being female, having financial burden, having no English proficiency and having a diagnosed health condition. Factors associated with mental health problems were being female, west Asian, and having financial burden. Attending refugee clinics was inversely associated with reporting mental health problems. Factors associated with physician visits were unemployment, while not having English proficiency and no access to a regular doctor were inversely associated with the number of visits. Young Age, no access to a regular doctor and health region were associated with difficulties obtaining healthcare, while not being married had an inverse relationship with reporting difficulties. Conclusion: Findings highlight sex and English proficiency as important factors associated with GARs’ health and utilization of services. It is recommended that specialized health literacy classes, health programs and support groups for GARs, especially women, be developed. These interventions would benefit from active participation of ethnic communities.

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