Salt Lake Refugee Reproductive Health Project

Principal Investigator: ParRoyer
Keywords: Refugee Reproductive Health Department: Obstetrics And Gynecology (Dept)
IRB Number: 00068580 Co Investigator: DavidTurok
Specialty: OB/Gyn, General
Sub Specialties: Women's Health

Contact Information


Brief Summary

The goal of this project is to obtain a baseline understanding of resettled African refugee women’s needs and attitudes surrounding reproductive health, family planning and abortion.  The project’s focus will be women resettled from Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as these countries represent two large and growing groups of African women undergoing resettlement to the U.S.   This will be a mixed method study investigating the following hypotheses.


  1. Somali and Congolese refugee women undergoing third party resettlement to the U.S. in general, and Utah specifically, arrive with unaddressed family planning needs and poorly characterized viewpoints on unintended pregnancy.
  2. Refugee knowledge of modern family planning methods varies by refugee group.  Possible associated factors include: country of origin, urban versus rural home setting, education level, time in refugee camp, prior access to medical care
  3. After resettlement, Somali and Congolese refugees face barriers to obtaining family planning services.  These barriers are unique to each refugee population and different from barriers faced by other disadvantaged populations.

To investigate these hypotheses we will use both quantitative and qualitative study methods.  Research objectives are:


  1. Explore Somali and Congolese refugee conceptualizations of family planning including: utility and understanding of family planning concepts, method acceptability, views regarding abortion, as well as cultural, logistic and other obstacles to family planning utilization


  1. Obtain baseline assessment of demographics of Somali and Congolese refugee women resettled to Utah including their knowledge of and acceptability regarding modern family planning methods
  2. Evaluate barriers to family planning services and utilization in Somali and Congolese women after third country resettlement

Inclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:  We aim to obtain a comprehensive understanding of reproductive health and family planning conceptualizations, access and barriers across a representative sample of resettled African refugee women from the DRC and Somalia.  To gain the most comprehensive sample we will have few limitations on participation.  To control for potential confounders we will collect data to allow for stratified analysis based on age, religion, reproductive history, homeland characteristics, time in refugee camp, time since resettlement, and prior contraceptive method use.

Phase I (Focus Groups) Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Female
  2. Age 18-60
  3. Country of origin: Somalia or the Democratic Republic of Congo
  4. Ability to speak and comprehend conversational French, Somali, or Swahili

Phase II (Telephone Interviews) Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Female
  2. Age 18-55
  3. Country of origin: Somalia or the Democratic Republic of Congo
  4. Ability to speak and comprehend conversational French, Somali, or Swahili

Note:  Women who choose to enroll in both phases of the study will be counted as 2 separate participants, since a separate consent cover letter is provided for each phase of the study. 

Exclusion Criteria

Exclusion Criteria for both Phase I & Phase II:

  1. Male