Understanding oral health help-seeking among Middle Eastern refugees and asylum seekers in Australia: An exploratory study

Clemence Due, Isadora Aldam, Anna Ziersch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: Andersen's behavioural model of healthcare utilization is one of the most commonly used frameworks for help-seeking across a broad range of health areas, including oral health. The Model has been used in a wide range of previous studies to explore and understand oral health service use among both general populations and ethnic minorities. However, no research has explored its utility in understanding refugees' and asylum seekers' oral health help-seeking. As such, this study aimed to improve understanding of Middle Eastern refugees' and asylum seekers' oral health help-seeking and to determine the utility of Andersen's Model in this context. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 26 participants: 20 refugees and asylum seekers, and six oral health practitioners. Results were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: The results indicated that systemic barriers were of particular concern for refugees and asylum seekers in relation to oral healthcare access. Other components supported previous research concerning the domains of the Model, with additions in relation to acculturation and previous experiences of dental care either in home or resettlement contexts. Conclusions: Overall, this study highlights the need for a tailored approach to understanding oral health help-seeking for refugees and asylum seekers, who have particular dental care needs. Resettlement policies should consider system-level barriers to accessing dental services when considering access to health services more generally for refugees and asylum seekers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)188-194
    Number of pages7
    JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


    • Andersen's model
    • help-seeking
    • oral health
    • qualitative
    • refugees


    Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding oral health help-seeking among Middle Eastern refugees and asylum seekers in Australia: An exploratory study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this