Physical and Mental Health Status of Iraqi Refugees Resettled in the United States
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- Taylor, E.M., Yanni, E.A., Pezzi, C. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2014) 16: 1130. doi:10.1007/s10903-013-9893-6
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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.