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Health Care Access for Somali Refugees: Views of Patients, Doctors, Nurses

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Objective: To identify barriers to health care access perceived by a group of refugees from Somalia and by the doctors and nurses providing care for them. Methods: A survey of patients seen during a 7-month period at a primary care clinic in Minneapolis, and estimates by clinic staff of patient responses to the survey. Results: Patients reported fewer problems with transportation, payment, language, and being examined than their caregivers expected. Conclusion: Asking the opinion of their caregivers may not provide accurate information about problems experienced by refugees. Interviewing patients directly is more useful, although not without problems.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Minnesota 2: Medical Education, Abbott North-western Hospital, Minneapolis, MN.

Publication date: July 1, 1999

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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