Degree Date



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work and Social Research


Over 85,000 Bhutanese refugees have resettled in the United States. The worldwide refugee crisis has become a priority in recent years, making refugee resettlement a major global concern. This study examines health care utilization among Bhutanese refugees in one U.S. city during the post-resettlement period. Using grounded theory methods, this study explores individual- and structural-level factors that affect health access and health services usage among the Bhutanese community. Key themes that emerged from 30 in-depth interviews with refugee participants include: family health navigation, acculturation, insurance status, resources, health needs, types of services used, and outcomes. These themes suggest that language, culture, social networks, health systems, and prior experiences with health care interact with each other and inform Bhutanese refugees’ health care utilization processes. The study’s findings may be relevant to interventions and policies for refugees across the United States and to refugees resettling in other Western countries.