Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1305–1312 | Cite as

Factors Associated with Healthcare Utilization Among Arab Immigrants and Iraqi Refugees

  • D. Elsouhag
  • B. Arnetz
  • H. Jamil
  • M. A. Lumley
  • C. L. Broadbridge
  • J. Arnetz
Original paper


Arab migrants—both immigrants and refugees—are exposed to pre- and post- migration stressors increasing their risk for health problems. Little is known, however, about rates of, or factors associated with, healthcare utilization among these two groups. A sample of 590 participants were interviewed approximately 1 year post-migration to the United States. Factors associated with healthcare utilization, including active and passive coping strategies, were examined using logistic regressions. Compared to national healthcare utilization data, immigrants had significantly lower, and refugees had significantly higher rates of healthcare utilization. Being a refugee, being married, and having health insurance were significantly associated with medical service utilization. Among refugees, less use of psychological services was associated with the use of medications and having problem-focused (active) strategies for dealing with stress. Healthcare utilization was significantly higher among refugees, who also reported a greater need for services than did immigrants.


Immigrants Refugees Healthcare Stress 



This study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, Grant R01MH085793) and represents the views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the NIMH. It was conducted as the final research project in completion of the Masters of Public Health degree for the first author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Elsouhag
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Arnetz
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • H. Jamil
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. A. Lumley
    • 7
  • C. L. Broadbridge
    • 8
  • J. Arnetz
    • 3
    • 4
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of DentistryUniversity of Detroit MercyDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health SciencesBaker CollegeClinton TownshipUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family Medicine and Public Health SciencesWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Environmental Health SciencesWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  5. 5.Institute for Cardiovascular ResearchWayne State UniverstiyDetroitUSA
  6. 6.Department of Public Health and Caring SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  7. 7.Department of PsychologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  8. 8.Division of Social SciencesKentucky Wesleyan CollegeOwensboroUSA

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