Immigrants and the utilization of hospital emergency departments

Mahmoud, Ibrahim & Hou, Xiang-Yu (2012) Immigrants and the utilization of hospital emergency departments. World Journal of Emergency Medicine, 3(4), pp. 245-250.

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BACKGROUND: Immigrants with language barriers are at high risk of having poor access to health care services. However, several studies have indicated that immigrants tend to use emergency departments (EDs) as their primary source of care at the expense of primary care. This may place an additional burden on already overcrowded EDs and lead to a low level of patient satisfaction with ED care. The study was to review if immigrants utilize ED care differently from host populations and to assess immigrants’ satisfaction with ED care. DATA SOURCES: Studies about immigrants' utilization of EDs in Australia and worldwide were reviewed. RESULTS: There are confl icting results in the literature about the pattern of ED care use among immigrants. Some studies have shown higher utilization by immigrants compared to host populations and others have shown lower utilization. Overall, immigrants use ED care heavily, make inappropriate visits to EDs, have a longer length of stay in EDs, and are less satisfi ed with ED care as compared to host populations. CONCLUSIONS: Immigrants might use ED care differently from host populations due to language and cultural barriers. There is sparse Australian literature regarding immigrants' access to health care including ED care. To ensure equity, further research is needed to inform policy when planning health care provision to immigrants. KEY WORDS: Emergency department; Health service; Immigrants; Language; Utilization

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ID Code: 56405
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Emergency Department, Health Services, Immigrants, Languages, utilization, CEDM
DOI: 10.5847/ wjem.j.1920-8642.2012.04.001
ISSN: 1920-8642
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 World Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Copyright Statement: After acceptance, copyright of the article must be transferred by writing to WJEM. Published manuscripts in WJEM are the property of the journal and may not be published elsewhere without permission.
Deposited On: 15 Jan 2013 02:34
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2014 07:53

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