Send to

Choose Destination
J Immigr Minor Health. 2014 Aug;16(4):733-42. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9906-5.

Barriers to healthcare access among refugees with disabilities and chronic health conditions resettled in the US Midwest.

Author information

Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1919 W. Taylor St, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA,


Chronic conditions and related functional disabilities are highly prevalent among resettled refugees in the United States. There is a need to explore this population's access to appropriate healthcare services in order to identify service disparities and improve interventions. Using a community-based participatory research approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants to identify healthcare access barriers affecting disabled and chronically ill refugees. Eighteen participants were interviewed, revealing three main barriers: (1) inadequate health insurance, (2) language and communication barriers, and (3) a complex maze of service systems. These barriers were found to operate at systems, provider, and individual levels. Broad-based policy and practice interventions are required to address barriers including: an expanded pool of medical interpreters, peer navigators, innovative health information technologies, and greater collaboration and information-sharing between service systems. Further research is needed to monitor the impact the Affordable Care Act on service access of refugees with disabilities and chronic conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center