Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Immigrants--Iowa--Health and hygiene; Immigrants--Iowa--Economic conditions; Immigrants--Iowa--Social conditions; COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- --Economic aspects; COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- --Social aspects;


The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted immigrants across the United States and around the globe. Immigrants have faced many challenges before the COVID-19 pandemic began and this population is at a higher risk for acquiring SARS-CoV-2 due to their vulnerability and experience with limited access to healthcare, living in poverty, fear of legal repercussions, and much more. The lack of access to preventive care leads to an increased risk of underlying health conditions such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. In addition, immigrants are more likely to experience food insecurity, housing instability, low education attainment, and low-wage jobs without paid leave.

This study utilized interviews to collect primary data on immigrants living in Iowa during the COVID-19 pandemic and analyzed the ways this global public health emergency affected their socioeconomic status and overall health. This project can serve as an important case study in refugee health. It can provide urgently needed information on the impact of emerging infectious diseases on preexisting health disparities among vulnerable migrant populations. Policy and programming recommendations are provided to address the preventive health needs of resettled refugee populations and enhance their socioeconomic resilience against catastrophic pandemic outbreaks of novel viruses, which are becoming more frequent around the world.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services

First Advisor

Michele Devlin, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (v, 48 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download