PRP087: Exploration of the 2016 & 2017 Annual Survey of Refugees: Newly Available Public Datasets Focusing on Refugees

Catherine Elmore, MSN, RN, CNL; Fern Hauck, MD, MS; Emma Mitchell, PhD, RN


Context: Since 1980, the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services has conducted the Annual Surveys of Refugees (ASR) focused on resettlement self-sufficiency and integration. The 2016 ASR sampled refugees who entered the U.S. between FY 2011 and FY 2015, and were 16 years old. The 2016 ASR dataset became available in 2019, followed by the 2017 ASR in February 2020; this is the first time these data have been made publicly available. As refugees are being seen in all communities and by family physicians in increasing numbers, these newly available data have the potential to inform primary care practice and research related to refugee populations. Objective: To explore variables from the ASR that can inform health needs for refugees living in the U.S. Study Design: Exploratory data analysis is being conducted. Basic descriptive statistics related to demographic (e.g. age, gender, country of origin) and health related (e.g. usual source of health care, health insurance coverage) variables will be reported using person-level analytic weights. Results: Using proxy reporting by head of household, the 2016 survey captured data for 4,037 individuals from 1,500 households. More than 10 countries of origin were represented, including Iraq (33% of sample) and Bhutan (13%). The sample was 52% male, mean age 29 (range 0 – 75 years). 88% were not citizens at the time of the survey. 58% reported a private physician or health clinic as a usual source of health care. 46% (1,628) reported having “any kind” of health insurance; the largest group had public Medicaid insurance (38.5%, n=1,183), while less than 10% (n=305) reported having employer-sponsored health insurance. Comparisons between the 2016 and 2017 ASR are in progress and will be reported. Conclusion: ASR strengths include stratified probability sample design, and deployment with 16 non-English languages. Despite limitations, including relatively few variables related to health, ASR data can be compared to other population-based surveys with the potential to inform overarching health needs of this underserved population. Further population-based surveys of refugees are needed, to include additional health related and social determinants of health data.

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