Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Michener, Mary


Immigrants in Minnesota face several barriers regarding access and use of preventive healthcare services. Current literature indicates a high area of need exists within the immigrant population for the prevention of chronic illness. Language, health literacy, cultural norms, and citizenship all play a role in limiting the use of preventive care. As the number of elderly immigrants increases and the overall immigrant population steadily rises in the United States, it is in the best interest of patients and providers to prevent or reduce the burden of long term diseases like diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. Knowing that barriers are present within the U.S. healthcare system requires change for all parties involved in the healthcare process. Changing health care policies, improving the health literacy in each ethnic group, and removing physical barriers are all important steps in closing the gap in preventive care and improving the health of the immigrant population in America. Through a bilingual survey of the Oromo tribe of Ethiopia, the researchers assessed the barriers that Minnesota immigrants from Ethiopia face when accessing preventive care. The study collected the results of the surveys and performed a statistical analysis of the results to see what preventive services are being utilized and what barriers, if any, exist that prevent immigrants from accessing these services. Based on the data analysis, difficulty finding time to go for an annual visit was the most statistically significant barrier to preventive care with a p-value at 0.05. Among the responders that stated they never or sometimes find time to go for annual visits, 46% have not had any preventive care in the last five years. 92% of the same respondents however have had at least one clinic/hospital visit that was for a sick/acute-care visit. Through the data collection process, the research demonstrated the barriers to preventive care found in the literature review are present in the Oromo community but not at a statistically significant level.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons