Health care utilization of refugee children after resettlement

J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Aug;14(4):583-8. doi: 10.1007/s10903-011-9530-1.


Refugee children can have significant health problems. Our objective was to describe health status and health care utilization of refugee children after resettlement. A retrospective chart review of refugee children was performed. Initial laboratory data was extracted. Primary care visits, emergency room visits, and subspecialty referrals in the first 15 months from arrival were recorded. The sample included 198 refugees, many with positive initial screening tests. After arrival, 21% had an emergency department visit, 40% had a primary care sick visit, and 71% had a primary care follow-up. Mean number of visits ranged from 0.3 for emergency department to 1.9 for follow-up. Fifty-seven percent were referred to at least one subspecialist. Refugee children had substantial disease burden at arrival. Most had primary care follow-up visits and subspecialty referral after resettlement. These visits were largely for problems identified on initial screening and for general pediatric illnesses.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhode Island / epidemiology