Barriers to accessing health care services for West African refugee women living in Western Australia

Health Care Women Int. 2011 Mar;32(3):206-24. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2010.529216.


Help-seeking pathways and barriers to accessing health care services were surveyed in 51 West African refugee women who had settled recently in Perth, Western Australia, and in 100 Australian women. Shame or fear of what family and friends might think, fear of being judged by the treatment provider, fear of hospitalization, and logistical difficulties were significant impediments to accessing health care services for the refugee women. Surprisingly, barriers often were greater for the more-educated refugee women and strengthened with years of residence in Australia. Strategies to help at-risk women overcome these barriers need to be implemented to ensure appropriate access to health care services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa, Western / ethnology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blacks
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Refugees*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / ethnology
  • Shame
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Western Australia
  • Young Adult