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Family planning knowledge, attitudes and practices among Bhutanese refugee women

Alex Soriano, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012

Project abstract

The population of Bhutanese refugees living in the Pittsburgh area has grown from 228 in 2008 to over 1,000 in 2010. According to anecdotal reports from providers at a local immigrant health center, rates of unplanned/undesired pregnancies amongst this population are high.

Studies have shown that refugee women face language barriers, post-migration emotional distress, and cultural differences that prevent them from obtaining adequate healthcare. To address the needs of this growing population, we propose a qualitative study to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Bhutanese refugees regarding family planning practices.

Furthermore, the aim of the study is to identify potential barriers to implementing a successful contraception program in refugee populations. We hypothesize that inadequate contraception counseling is being provided to Bhutanese refugee women in Pittsburgh due to cultural barriers, knowledge of proper use, and accessibility of contraception.

To execute this study, 15-20 in-depth interviews will be conducted of Bhutanese women aged 18- 45. Recruitment and interviews will take place at the Squirrel Hill Health Center. Interviews will be conducted using a translator and audio recording to later be transcribed, coded and analyzed for themes.

This study is the first step in developing an evidence-based program in family planning for this underserved population.

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