Medical needs of adolescent refugees resettling in Western Australia

Kajal Hirani, Donald N Payne, Raewyn Mutch, Sarah Cherian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the medical needs and socioeconomic determinants of health among adolescent refugees resettling in Western Australia.

DESIGN: Comprehensive medical and socioeconomic health data of resettling adolescent refugees aged 12 years and above attending a Refugee Health Service over a 1-year period were analysed.

RESULTS: Medical records of 122 adolescents, median (range) age of 14 (12-17) years, were reviewed. Socioeconomic vulnerabilities included dependence on government financial support (50%), housing issues (27%) and child protection service involvement (11%). Medical concerns included non-communicable disorders (85%), infectious diseases (81%), nutrition/growth (71%) and physical symptoms of non-organic origin (43%). One quarter (27%) of female adolescents had sexual/reproductive health issues. A median (range) of 5 (2-12) health concerns were identified for each adolescent with 49% requiring referral to subspecialty services.

CONCLUSION: Resettling adolescent refugees are socioeconomically vulnerable with a range of medical issues that frequently require additional subspecialty health referrals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-883
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number9
Early online date3 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


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