Africa Immigrant, Mental Health, Physical Health, Community-Based Research


Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health



African immigrants and refugees experience unique mental and physical health care needs that may be a result of pre-migration history and the acculturation process. The purpose of this project was to collaborate with African immigrant and refugee communities to identify health needs of the communities and lay a foundation for future action.


Key-informant interviews with five West, East and Central African immigrant and refugee communities included community leaders (n=10) and listening sessions with larger groups of community members totaling approximately 150 participants to identify health care needs. Content analysis was employed to identify themes related to immigrant and refugee health.


Meetings with community leaders and members were conducted at community venues often immediately following or during a planned event. Six general themes emerged: mental health/trauma; sexual health; nutrition; chronic disease prevention; insurance coverage; and youth empowerment.


Chronic mental and physical health issues were of primary concern. One key lesson learned in building successful partnerships was having members of the research team who were born into partnering African immigrant and refugee communities and were passionate about working with their communities.