Award Date

December 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Epidemiology and Biostatistics

First Committee Member

Erika Marquez

Second Committee Member

Christopher Johansen

Third Committee Member

Tim Bungum

Fourth Committee Member

Reimund Serafica

Number of Pages



Objective: The United States has accepted over 3 million refugees from all around the world since 1975. However, many Limited English Proficiency (LEP) refugees face significant barriers when seeking healthcare due to limited access, lack of knowledge, mistrust in physicians, language differences, cultural concerns, and overall complexity of the U.S. healthcare system. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify practices in the last 10 years that have improved healthcare and language access services for LEP refugees living in the U.S.

Methods: A search was conducted in four electronic databases PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Scopus from January 2013 to May 2023. Studies were included if they were 1) focusing on practices or interventions 2) aimed at improving healthcare and language access services 3) for limited English-speaking refugees. Studies were excluded if published in countries outside the U.S.

Results: The initial search yielded 1649 articles. After review, 12 articles met the inclusion criteria; these articles consisted of interventions, language access practice guidelines, and quality improvement. The results of the literature found that successful interventions involved cultural brokers and qualified medical interpreters in the design and development of interventions for refugee target groups, as well as the relevance of timely and comprehensive training for providers regarding the treatment of LEP refugee populations.

Conclusion: Implications for future research include the identification of alternative methods to engage cultural brokers, recruitment of qualified medical interpreters, and training medical providers while partnering with local refugee communities. Future research should focus on identifying best practices for building long-term partnerships between medical providers and refugee communities. In conclusion, this literature review contributes to the overall knowledge of the patient-provider relationship for LEP refugee population in the U.S.


Immigrant Health; Language; Language Access Service; Refugees; Systematic Review


Language Description and Documentation | Linguistics | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Public Health | Science and Mathematics Education

File Format


File Size

1150 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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