Health service utilization and access to medicines among Syrian refugee children in Jordan.
ABSTRACT: With over one million Syrian refugee children in the region, we undertook this study to characterize care-seeking behaviors and health service utilization for child refugees with the aim of informing humanitarian programming for non-camp settings in Jordan.A survey of Syrian refugees living outside of camps in Jordan was conducted using a 125 × 12 cluster design with probability proportional to size sampling to obtain a representative sample. The questionnaire focused on access to health services, including a module on care seeking for children.Care seeking was high with 90.9% of households with a child less than 18 years seeking medical care the last time it was needed. Households most often sought care for children in the public sector (54.6%), followed by private (36.5%) and charity sectors (8.9%). Among child care seekers, 88.6% were prescribed medication during the most recent visit, 90.6% of which obtained the medication. Overall, 49.4% of households reported out-of-pocket expenditures for either the consultation or prescribed medications at the most recent visit (mean $US21.1 and median $US0).Syrian refugees had good access to care for their sick children at the time of the survey; however, this has likely deteriorated since the survey because of the withdrawal of free access for refugees. The number of refugees in Jordan and relative accessibility of care has resulted in a large burden on the health system; the Jordanian government will require additional support if current levels of health access are to be maintained for Syrian refugees.
Project description:The influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan presents an immense burden to the Jordanian health system, particularly in treating chronic health conditions. This study was undertaken to assess utilization of health services for chronic health conditions among Syrian refugees in non-camp settings.A survey of Syrian refugees in Jordan was undertaken in June 2014 to characterize health seeking behaviors and issues related to accessing care for hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and arthritis. A cluster design with probability proportional to size sampling was used to attain a nationally representative sample of 1550 non-camp Syrian refugee households.Of 1363 cases with a chronic health condition diagnosis, 84.7% had received care in Jordan. Public facilities faced a heavy burden serving over half (53.9%) of care-seekers; the remainder received care in the private (29.6%) and NGO/charity (16.6%) sectors. Individuals with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the central region of Jordan and with arthritis had the lowest rates of care-seeking when compared to other regions and conditions. Overall, 31.6% of care-seekers had an out-of-pocket payment for the most recent care-seeking event which averaged 18.8 USD (median = 0 USD), excluding cost of medications.Forced displacement presents major challenges to those with NCDs, which have the potential to seriously impact both the quality of life and life expectancy amongst refugees. NCD patterns among Syrian refugees indicate the importance of continuing support to public sector services in Jordan to adequately meet expanding needs and ensure appropriate prevention and control of priority NCDs.
Project description:Methods:This study uses data from a 2015 household survey of Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities. A total of 1,376 refugee and 686 host community households were surveyed using a cluster design with probability proportional to size sampling. Differences in outcomes of interest by population group were examined using Pearson's chi-square and t-test methods and the crude and adjusted odds of care-seeking and interrupted medication adherence among Syrian refugees were estimated using logistic regression. Results:Findings identified significant gaps between refugees and host community members in care-seeking, health facility utilization, out-of-pocket payments for care, and medication interruption. While host community members had better access to care and fewer reports of medication interruption compared to refugees, out-of-pocket spending for the most recent care visit was significantly higher among host community care-seekers. Refugee care-seekers most frequently received care at primary health facilities, choosing to do so mainly for reasons related to cost, whereas host community care-seekers predominantly utilized private clinics with greater concern for quality and continuity of care. Conclusion:Further efforts are needed to facilitate lower and more predictable health service costs for refugees and vulnerable host community members, as is continued communication on available subsidized care. Purpose:To characterize care-seeking, health service utilization and spending, and medication prescribing and adherence for hypertension and diabetes among Syrian refugees and host communities in Lebanon.
Project description:Tackling the high non-communicable disease (NCD) burden among Syrian refugees poses a challenge to humanitarian actors and host countries. Current response priorities are the identification and integration of key interventions for NCD care into humanitarian programs as well as sustainable financing. To provide evidence for effective NCD intervention planning, we conducted a cross-sectional survey among non-camp Syrian refugees in northern Jordan to investigate the burden and determinants for high NCDs prevalence and NCD multi-morbidities and assess the access to NCD care.We used a two-stage cluster design with 329 randomly selected clusters and eight households identified through snowball sampling. Consenting households were interviewed about self-reported NCDs, NCD service utilization, and barriers to care.We estimated the adult prevalence of hypertension, diabetes type I/II, cardiovascular- and chronic respiratory conditions, thyroid disease and cancer and analysed the pattern of NCD multi-morbidities. We used the Cox proportional hazard model to calculate the prevalence ratios (PR) to analyse determinants for NCD prevalence and logistic regression to determine risk factors for NCD multi-morbidities by calculating odds ratios (ORs).Among 8041 adults, 21.8%, (95% CI: 20.9-22.8) suffered from at least one NCD; hypertension (14.0, 95% CI: 13.2-14.8) and diabetes (9.2, 95% CI: 8.5-9.9) were the most prevalent NCDs. NCD multi-morbidities were reported by 44.7% (95% CI: 42.4-47.0) of patients. Higher age was associated with higher NCD prevalence and the risk for NCD-multi-morbidities; education was inversely associated.Of those patients who needed NCD care, 23.0% (95% CI: 20.5-25.6) did not seek it; 61.5% (95% CI: 54.7-67.9) cited provider cost as the main barrier. An NCD medication interruption was reported by 23.1% (95% CI: 20-4-26.1) of patients with regular medication needs; predominant reason was unaffordability (63.4, 95% CI: 56.7-69.6).The burden of NCDs and multi-morbidities is high among Syrian refugees in northern Jordan. Elderly and those with a lower education are key target groups for NCD prevention and care, which informs NCD service planning and developing patient-centred approaches.Important unmet needs for NCD care exist; removing the main barriers to care could include cost-reduction for medications through humanitarian pricing models. Nevertheless, it is still essential that international donors agencies and countries fulfill their commitment to support the Syrian-crisis response.
Project description:Background:Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have hosted large refugee populations, with a high pre-conflict burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Objectives:We aimed to describe the ways in which these three host country health systems have provided NCD services to Syrian refugees over time, and to highlight the successes and challenges they encountered. Methods:We conducted a descriptive review of the academic and grey literature, published between March 2011 and March 2017, using PubMed and Google searches complemented with documents provided by relevant stakeholders. Results:Forty-one articles and reports met our search criteria. Despite the scarcity of systematic population-level data, these documents highlight the high burden of reported NCDs among Syrian refugees, especially amongst older adults. The three host countries utilized different approaches to the design, delivery and financing of NCD services for these refugees. In Jordan and Lebanon, Ministries of Health and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) coordinate a diverse group of health care providers to deliver health services to Syrian refugees at a subsidized cost. In Turkey, however, services are provided solely by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), a Turkish governmental agency, with no cost to patients for primary or secondary care. Access to NCD services varied both within and between countries, with no data available from Turkey. The cost of NCD treatment is the primary barrier to accessing healthcare, with high out-of-pocket payments required for medications and secondary and tertiary care services, despite the availability of free or subsidized primary health services. Financial impediments led refugees to adopt coping strategies, including returning to Syria to seek treatment, with associated frequent treatment interruptions. These gaps were compounded by health system related barriers such as complex referral systems, lack of effective guidance on navigating the health system, limited health facility capacity and suboptimal NCD health education. Conclusion:As funding shortages for refugee services continue, innovative service delivery models are needed to create responsive and sustainable solutions to the NCD burden among refugees in host countries.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Noncommunicable diseases including cancer are widespread amongst the 5.6 million Syrian refugees currently hosted in the Middle East. Given its prevalence as the third leading cause of death in Syria, cancer is likely to be an important health burden among Syrian refugees. Against this background, our aim was to describe the clinical, ethical and policy decision-making experiences of health actors working within the current refugee cancer care system; the impact of refugee cancer care health policies on health care providers and policy makers in this context; and provide suggestions for the way delivery of care should be optimised in a sustained emergency situation. METHODS:From April-July 2016, we conducted in-depth interviews with 12 purposively sampled health officials and health care workers from the Jordanian Ministry of Health, multilateral donors and international non-governmental organisations. Data were analysed using a framework analysis approach to identify systemic, practical and ethical challenges to optimising care for refugees, through author agreement on issues emerging from the data and those linked more directly to areas of questioning. RESULTS:As has been previously reported, central challenges for policy makers and health providers were the lack of quality cancer prevalence data to inform programming and care delivery for this refugee population, and insufficient health resource allocation to support services. In addition, limited access to international funding for the host country, the absence of long-term funding schemes, and barriers to coordination between institutions and frontline clinicians were seen as key barriers. In this context where economic priorities inevitably drive decision-making on public health policy and individual care provision, frontline healthcare workers and policy makers experienced significant moral distress where duties of care and humanitarian values were often impossible to uphold. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings confirm and expand understanding of the challenges involved in resource allocation decisions for cancer care in refugee populations, and highlight these for the particular situation of long term Syrian refugees in Jordan. The insights offered by frontline clinicians and policy makers in this context reveal the unintended personal and moral impact of resource allocation decisions. With many countries facing similar challenges in the provision of cancer care for refugees, the lessons learned from Jordan suggest key areas for policy revision and international investment in developing cancer care policies for refugees internationally.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Approximately 18,000 Syrian refugees have resettled to the United States. Half of these refugees are children, whose age and refugee status jeopardize their abilities to attain quality healthcare. Information on Syrian refugees' health in the U.S. is limited. This qualitative study sought to explore Syrian refugee parents' beliefs, perspectives, and practices regarding their children's health through in-depth interviews. METHODS:Eighteen Syrian refugee parents residing in Cincinnati, Ohio were interviewed in Arabic by bilingual researchers using semi-structured in-depth interviews. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and translated. Three members of the research team independently coded each interview using an inductive thematic analysis approach. RESULTS:Analysis identified four salient themes: stressors preclude health seeking behaviors, parents perceive health barriers, parents are dissatisfied with the healthcare system, and parents use resilience behaviors to overcome barriers. Stressors included poor housing and neighborhoods, reliving traumatic experiences, depression and anxiety, and social isolation. Dissatisfaction included emergency room wait times, lack of testing and prescriptions. Health barriers included missed appointments and inadequate transportation, translation services, health literacy and care coordination. Parents reported resilience through faith, by seeking knowledge, use of natural remedies, and utilizing community resources. CONCLUSION:This qualitative study provides information on the beliefs, practices, and behaviors of Syrian refugee parents related to health care utilization of pediatric refugees in the United States. Psychosocial and environmental stressors as well as perceived systemic health barriers, hinder health seeking behaviors in Syrian refugee parents. Culturally relevant care targeting perceived barriers and incorporating resilience behaviors may improve parental satisfaction and parental health seeking behaviors. Further study is needed to implement and evaluate interventions that target identified barriers.
Project description:Importance:The management of noncommunicable diseases in humanitarian crises has been slow to progress from episodic care. Understanding disease burden and access to care among crisis-affected populations can inform more comprehensive management. Objective:To estimate the prevalence of hypertension and diabetes with biological measures and to evaluate access to care among Syrian refugees in northern Jordan. Design, Setting, and Participants:This cross-sectional study was undertaken from March 25 to April 26, 2019, in the districts of Ramtha and Mafraq, Jordan. Seventy clusters of 15 households were randomly sampled, and chain referral was used to sample Syrian households, representative of 59?617 Syrian refugees. Adults were screened and interviewed about their access to care. Data analysis was performed from May to September 2019. Exposures:Primary care delivered through a humanitarian organization since 2012. Main Outcomes and Measures:The main outcomes were self-reported prevalence of hypertension and diabetes among adults aged 18 years or older and biologically based prevalence among adults aged 30 years or older. The secondary outcome was access to care during the past month among adults aged 18 years or older with a diagnosis of hypertension or diabetes. Results:In 1022 randomly sampled households, 2798 adults aged 18 years or older, including 275 with self-reported diagnoses (mean [SD] age, 56.5 [13.2] years; 174 women [63.3%]), and 915 adults aged 30 years or older (608 women [66.5%]; mean [SD] age, 46.0 [12.8] years) were screened for diabetes and hypertension. Among adults aged 18 years or older, the self-reported prevalence was 17.2% (95% CI, 15.9%-18.6%) for hypertension, 9.8% (95% CI, 8.6%-11.1%) for diabetes, and 7.3% (95% CI, 6.3%-8.5%) for both conditions. Among adults aged 30 years or older, the biologically based prevalence was 39.5% (95% CI, 36.4%-42.6%) for hypertension, 19.3% (95% CI, 16.7%-22.1%) for diabetes, and 13.5% (95% CI, 11.4%-15.9%) for both conditions. Adjusted for age and sex, prevalence for all conditions increased with age, and women had a higher prevalence of diabetes than men (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.3%; 95% CI, 1.0%-1.7%), although the difference was not significant. Complications (57.4%; 95% CI, 51.5%-63.1%) and obese or overweight status (82.8%; 95% CI, 79.7%-85.5%) were highly prevalent. Among adults aged 30 years or older with known diagnoses, 94.1% (95% CI, 90.9%-96.2%) currently took medication. Among adults aged 18 years or older with known diagnoses, 26.8% (95% CI, 21.3%-33.1%) missed a medication dose in the past week, and 49.1% (95% CI, 43.3%-54.9%) sought care in the last month. Conclusions and Relevance:During this protracted crisis, obtaining care for noncommunicable diseases was feasible, as demonstrated by biologically based prevalence that was only moderately higher than self-reported prevalence. The high prevalence of complications and obese or overweight status, however, suggest inadequate management. Programs should focus on reinforcing adherence and secondary prevention to minimize severe morbidity.
Project description:Background:Since the beginning of the Syrian humanitarian crisis, Syrians sought refuge in many safer countries. Many aspects of Syrian refugees' lives have been affected, hence affecting the overall quality of their lives. However, only one study has investigated their quality of life (QOL). The aim of this study was to assess the QOL of Syrian refugees residing outside camps in Jordan and compare it to the QOL of Jordanians and to other refugees and populations around the globe. Methods:Data were obtained from Syrian refugees residing outside camps in Jordan, and from two Jordanian groups; low socioeconomic status (LSES) Jordanians and average socioeconomic status (ASES) Jordanians in 2017. A total of 661 Syrians, 208 LSES Jordanians and 714 ASES Jordanians, aged between 18 and 75 years were included. The World Health Organization Quality of Life instrument (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire was used as the QOL assessment tool. Analysis of Variance "ANOVA" and post hoc Tukey-Honest tests were used to find the differences between the means of QOL questions in the three groups (Syrians, ASES, and LSES). Stepwise multivariate linear regression was performed for each domain to determine the most associated risk factors. Results:No significant difference was found between Syrian refugees and LSES Jordanians in the physical health domain. Syrian refugees scored significantly lower than LSES Jordanians in the psychological health and social relationship domain. Syrian refugees scored significantly higher than LSES Jordanians in the environmental domain. ASES Jordanians scored significantly higher than the other two groups in all domains, with all its scores above the average. Discussion:Despite the support Jordan provides to the Syrian refugees, they still seem to suffer from poor psychological health, social relationships and environmental domains, with scores below 50 on (0-100) scale. Nonetheless, no significant difference was found between Syrian refugees and LSES Jordanians in the physical health domain, furthermore they scored significantly higher than LSES Jordanians in the environmental domain despite both scoring below 50 on (0-100) scale in this domain. Physical, psychological, and social domains were mainly affected by having a job, having higher income, and being married and free from diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Available evidence on mental health and psychosocial problems in Lebanon is limited. Recent quantitative data suggests a high prevalence among Syrian refugees and their Lebanese host communities, with significant treatment gaps in both populations. This study aims to determine how Lebanese host and Syrian refugee communities perceive mental health, and identify health seeking behaviors and barriers to health access in two contrasting contexts of fragility. METHODS:A comparative qualitative study design was adopted whereby a total of 36 semi-structured interviews with Lebanese host and Syrian refugees' community members were conducted, followed by a series of four participatory group model building (GMB) sessions. Participants were recruited from two contrasting fragility contexts: Beirut and Beqaa regions. During these sessions, causal loop diagrams were elicited depicting shared understandings of factors prompting the onset of mental health and psychosocial issues; health seeking behaviors, pathways and elements affecting the rate of health improvement and maintenance were also identified. RESULTS:Community members in both settings had similar perceptions of factors contributing to mental health. Participants named long-term effects of exposure to wars, political and social effects of conflicts, and financial constraints at the household level as precipitating factors prompting the onset of mental health and psychosocial stressors. Gender and integration related challenges between communities were identified as factors that affect condition onset and associated care seeking. Pathways for health seeking were found to be shaped by trust, the advice and support of loved ones, and the need to ensure confidentiality of affected individuals. Recurrent themes in discussion highlighted major barriers to healthcare access including significant delays in health care seeking from the formal health system, widespread social stigma, prohibitive service costs, lack of health coverage, limited awareness of mental health service availability and limited trust in the quality of services available. CONCLUSION:Mental health and psychosocial support strategies need to be gender- and integration-sensitive, primarily focused on condition prevention and awareness raising in order to strengthen health-seeking behaviors.
Project description:Validated measures are needed for assessing resilience in conflict settings. An Arabic version of the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM) was developed and tested in Jordan. Following qualitative work, surveys were implemented with male/female, refugee/nonrefugee samples (N = 603, 11-18 years). Confirmatory factor analyses tested three-factor structures for 28- and 12-item CYRMs and measurement equivalence across groups. CYRM-12 showed measurement reliability and face, content, construct (comparative fit index = .92-.98), and convergent validity. Gender-differentiated item loadings reflected resource access and social responsibilities. Resilience scores were inversely associated with mental health symptoms, and for Syrian refugees were unrelated to lifetime trauma exposure. In assessing individual, family, and community-level dimensions of resilience, the CYRM is a useful measure for research and practice with refugee and host-community youth.