Journal of Sustainable Social Change


The aims of this literature review were to (1) identify a comprehensive range of issues surrounding female refugee physical health and (2) identify strategies addressing most of the critical physical health issues surrounding female refugee heath through dynamic and community-based approaches. Articles published from 1996 through 2011 were located online using United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Health Organization, EBSCOhost, PubMed, CINAHL, and OVID MEDLINE. Keywords used for searching included “refugee health,” “refugees’ health promotion,” and “refugees.” Inclusion criteria were female refugees and studies involving extensive exploration of refugee population. Exclusion criteria were studies that involve mental psychological issues of refugees and men and children refugees. Forty two articles were identified and evaluated; 21 articles were included in the final review. The physical health issues that affect refugee women identified were reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, condom use, family planning, antenatal care, referrals, and contraceptives. Health promotion and education activities occur through interpersonal communication, peer education, group activities, drama, music, and traditional dances. Applying these findings could contribute to positive social change because public health practitioners have an opportunity to address issues surrounding female refugee health through dynamic and community-based approaches. Implications for healthcare include better strategies to educating and promoting health among female refugees.