Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1130–1137

Physical and Mental Health Status of Iraqi Refugees Resettled in the United States

Authors

    • Epidemic Intelligence Service, Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch, Division of Global Migration and QuarantineUS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • United States Public Health Service
  • Emad A. Yanni
    • Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, CDC
  • Clelia Pezzi
    • Division of Global Migration and QuarantineUS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Michael Guterbock
    • Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, CDC
  • Erin Rothney
    • Division of Global Migration and QuarantineUS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Elizabeth Harton
    • Division of Global Migration and QuarantineUS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Jessica Montour
    • Refugee Health ProgramTexas Department of State Health Services
  • Collin Elias
    • Refugee Health Screening ProgramIdaho Department of Health and Welfare
  • Heather Burke
    • Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, CDC
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10903-013-9893-6

Cite this article as:
Taylor, E.M., Yanni, E.A., Pezzi, C. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2014) 16: 1130. doi:10.1007/s10903-013-9893-6

Abstract

We conducted a survey among Iraqi refugees resettled in the United States to assess their physical and mental health status and healthcare access and utilization following the initial 8-month, post-arrival period. We randomly selected Iraqi refugees: ≥18 years of age; living in the United States for 8–36 months; and residents of Michigan, California, Texas and Idaho. Participants completed a household questionnaire and mental health assessment. We distributed 366 surveys. Seventy-five percent of participants had health insurance at the time of the survey; 43 % reported delaying or not seeking care for a medical problem in the past year. Sixty percent of participants reported one chronic condition; 37 % reported ≥2 conditions. The prevalence of emotional distress, anxiety, and depression was approximately 50 % of participants; 31 % were at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder. Iraqi refugees in this evaluation reported a high prevalence of chronic conditions and mental health symptoms despite relatively high access to healthcare. It is important for resettlement partners to be aware of the distinctive health concerns of this population to best address needs within this community.

Keywords

RefugeeMental healthHealthcare accessHealthcare utilizationChronic conditions

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (Outside the USA) 2013