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Increasing refugee health literacy through English language instruction in Allegheny County

Richards, Matthew (2016) Increasing refugee health literacy through English language instruction in Allegheny County. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Allegheny County has seen a significant increase in the number of refugees resettling to the region in the last decade. In addition to being victims of persecution in their home countries leading to their refugee status, refugees are also the victims of significant mental and physical health disparities here in the United States. Reducing and ultimately eliminating these disparities is a matter of public health significance both in Allegheny County and elsewhere, but addressing these disparities requires that we also address the low levels of health literacy found among refugee populations. This study examines the health problems facing refugees in Allegheny County, and investigates the feasibility of incorporating health education curriculum into English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at one of the region’s two largest providers of English language instruction. The results describe a host of health issues of importance to refugees in the County, some of which are already being addressed through the provider’s ESL classes, leading to the development of self-contained curriculum units to address several requested health topics. A feasibility study of one of the lessons finds that delivery of health information in this format is feasible and well-received, indicating the method holds public health importance to improve health literacy amongst Pittsburgh’s refugee population.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Richards, Matthew
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFelter, Elizabethemfelter@pitt.eduEMFELTERUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberKammerer, Candace Mcmk3@pitt.eduCMK3UNSPECIFIED
Date: 3 August 2016
Date Type: Submission
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 15:23
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2023 10:56


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