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Does Integrated Care Affect Healthcare Utilization in Multi-problem Refugees?

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A history of trauma is common in refugee populations and appropriate treatment is frequently avoided. Using a convenience sample of 64 patients in a Somali primary care clinic, a culture and trauma specific intervention was developed to address retention into appropriate treatment. One goal of the intervention was to improve the rate of engagement in psychotherapy after a mental health referral and to test the effect of psychotherapy on health care utilization using a staged primary care clinical tool. Forty-eight percent of patients given a mental health referral engaged in psychotherapy. Patients engaging in psychotherapy had higher baseline utilization and over 12 months trended towards less emergency room use and more primary care. Our findings suggest that the intervention improved referral and retention in mental health therapy for East African refugee women.

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Authors received Grant support from Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation.

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Correspondence to Deborah H. Boehm.

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Carol C. White—Retired from Center for Victims of Torture.

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White, C.C., Solid, C.A., Hodges, J.S. et al. Does Integrated Care Affect Healthcare Utilization in Multi-problem Refugees?. J Immigrant Minority Health 17, 1444–1450 (2015).

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  • Refugees
  • Political trauma
  • Integrated care
  • Special populations
  • Primary care