Home Institution

George Washington University

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Jordan: Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action


The purpose of this study is to evaluate perceptions of emergency medical services (EMS) among Syrian refugees living in urban host communities in Jordan. The research questions are as follows: To what extent do public perceptions of emergency medical services affect the utilization of ambulances? How does awareness about available emergency medical services shape refugees’ attitudes towards it? Because this topic is qualitative and exploratory in the case of Jordan, there was no clear hypothesis. The assumption, however, is that positive perceptions and awareness about EMS can encourage refugees to call an ambulance for transportation to the hospital during a medical emergency. This study is significant because under-usage of EMS can increase preventable morbidity and mortality caused by acute, life-threatening emergencies in an already vulnerable population. By looking at the factors that influence underserved communities’ likeliness to appropriately use ambulances during health emergencies, the research may be able to pinpoint areas of improvement for pre-hospital care. 29 surveys were collected from adult Syrian refugees in non-camp settings using convenience sampling. The survey included questions about previous experiences with EMS as well as opinions and awareness of available services. 5 in-depth interviews were also conducted with refugees who had previously utilized an ambulance to better understand contributing factors in the decision to utilize EMS. The research concluded that although Syrian refugees in Jordan have mostly positive perceptions and awareness of emergency medical services, they are not necessarily more likely to utilize them. The findings contribute to advancing science by applying existing theories to the context of Jordan. Furthermore, the findings can be used to understand what additional factors influence how vulnerable populations such as refugees utilize emergency services.


Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Patient Safety | Public Health | Surgery


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