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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 17(1)

Health status and use of health services among recently arrived men with refugee backgrounds: a comparative analysis of urban and regional settlement in South-east Queensland

Ignacio Correa-Velez A D , Adrian G. Barnett B , Sandra M. Gifford A and Donata Sackey C

A La Trobe Refugee Research Centre, School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Vic. 3086, Australia.
B Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.
C Mater UQ Centre for Primary Health Care Innovation, Mater Health Services and University of Queensland, Level 2 Potter Building Annex, Annerley Road, South Brisbane, Qld 4101, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: i.correa-velez@latrobe.edu.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 17(1) 66-71 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY10051
Submitted: 25 August 2010  Accepted: 14 December 2010   Published: 16 March 2011


 
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Abstract

Approximately one-third of refugee and humanitarian entrants to Australia are adult men. Many of these men and their families settle in regional areas. Little is known about the health status of refugee men and the use of health services, and whether or not there are differences between those living in urban and regional areas. This paper reports on the cross-sectional differences in health status and use of health services among a group of 233 recently arrived refugee men living in urban and regional areas of South-east Queensland. Overall, participants reported good levels of subjective health status, moderate to good levels of well-being, and low prevalence of mental illness. Men living in urban areas were more likely to have a long-standing illness and report poorer health status than those settled in regional areas. In contrast, men living in regional areas reported poorer levels of well-being in the environment domain and were more likely to visit hospital emergency departments. Targeted health promotion programs will ensure that refugee men remain healthy and develop their full potential as members of the Australian community. Programs that facilitate refugees’ access to primary health care in regional areas may promote more appropriate use of hospital emergency departments by these communities.

Additional keywords:access to health care, refugees, rural settlement.


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