Refugee Women’s Health

  • Geetha FinkEmail author
  • Tara Helm
  • Kaya Belknap
  • Crista E. Johnson-Agbakwu


Refugees are resilient survivors who have been displaced from war-torn countries where there was limited access to quality medical care and preventive health. Moreover, possessing low socioeconomic status, malnutrition, infectious diseases, and poor social support may have a deleterious impact on their health. Thus, caring for refugees provides an opportunity to provide culturally-sensitive care while addressing the unique cultural, linguistic, and literacy challenges which may impact their psychosocial adjustment, mental as well as physical health and well-being in their host country of resettlement. For refugee women, cultural and/or religious beliefs around sexual behavior, prenatal care, breastfeeding, cancer screening, contraception, intimate partner violence, and such traditional practices as Female Genital Cutting, may influence decisions that they make regarding their health care. Furthermore, health care providers should be prepared to address mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often occurs within the context of immigration, acculturation, and rapid changes in family and social structures. Refugee women are a vulnerable population for whom culturally-informed care can promote health and wellness, as well as a trusting patient-provider relationship.


Refugees women’s health female genital cutting prenatal care antepartum postpartum preventative health mental health intimate partner violence domestic violence nutrition culture religion contraception breastfeeding cancer screening sexually transmitted infection postpartum depression reproductive health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geetha Fink
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tara Helm
    • 2
  • Kaya Belknap
    • 3
  • Crista E. Johnson-Agbakwu
    • 4
  1. 1.Obstetrics and GynecologyPhoenix Integrated Residency in Obstetrics and GynecologyPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.Family Nurse Practitioner ProgramFrontier Nursing UniversityHydenUSA
  3. 3.College of Medicine - Phoenix, University of ArizonaPhoenixUSA
  4. 4.Obstetrics & GynecologyMaricopa Integrated Health SystemPhoenixUSA

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