A qualitative study of the perceived effectiveness of refugee services among consumers, providers, and interpreters

Publication Date

May 2019

Document Type


Publication Title

Transcultural Psychiatry




This study explored the perceptions of accessibility and cultural effectiveness of refugee services in the northeast region of the United States from refugees, interpreters who work with refugees in accessing these services, and the providers of the refugee services. The study examined the perceptions of 51 refugees from 10 countries, five individual interviews with providers and 26 provider survey responses representing 31 different agencies, and four interviews from interpreters. Qualitative interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview schedule, were audiotaped, and transcribed. Further data were collected through a survey. All data were analyzed using constant comparative analysis. Participants shared feelings of frustration that services seemed poorly coordinated among the agencies and that the agencies appeared ill-prepared for the unique experiences of separate refugee groups. The three perspectives of refugee service delivery, as a consumer, a provider, or an interpreter, shared the perception that there was not a mechanism for the different services to collaborate effectively with each other, to create a network of coordinated services that would enhance services while decreasing burdens on individual centers, nor was there a system to best prepare the centers for new refugees.


cultural competence, forced migrant, interpreters, refugee, service delivery