Former military officers from the republic of Vietnam now living in the United States (US): Exploring their perceptions of the US healthcare system

Elisabeth K. Stephens, Phuong L. Nguyen, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, Aminah Jatoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Few studies have focused on perceptions of healthcare among Vietnamese who came to the United States (US) as refugees. A 48-item survey that included information on demographics, health status, and satisfaction with healthcare [including the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire-18 (PSQ-18)] was sent to 49 former Vietnamese military officers, who are now living in the US, based on their current geographic residence. A total of 22 of 49 delivered questionnaires were completed and returned, yielding a response rate of 45%. The survey was sent in Vietnamese and English, and all except one was completed in Vietnamese. In response to "Language barriers have prevented me from accessing health care when I need it," 77% of respondents acknowledged that this was "sometimes" the case even today. Most respondents otherwise viewed the healthcare system favorably, but cost concerns were an issue: 28% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, "I have to pay for more of my medical care than I can afford." In contrast, only 9% described that they would have strongly agreed or agreed to this statement upon first arriving to the US. Write-in comments revealed themes that centered on language barriers, favorable impressions of healthcare in the US, financial concerns, and patriotism towards the US. Further study of this aging population of Vietnamese Americans might help shed light on concerns faced by other refugee populations who have arrived more recently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)992-998
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011



  • Cost
  • Healthcare perceptions
  • Survey
  • Vietnamese Americans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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