BACKGROUND: Refugees needing long-term health care must adapt to new healthcare systems. The aim of this study was to examine the viewpoints of nine refugees in a county in Sweden, with a known chronic disease or functional impairment requiring long-term medical care, on their contacts with care providers regarding treatment and personal needs.
METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with nine individuals and/or their next of kin. Inductive content analysis was used to identify experiences.
RESULTS: "Care organizations/resources" and "professional competence" were the categories extracted. Participants felt cared for due to accessibility to and regular appointments with the same care provider. Visiting different clinics contributed to a negative experience and lack of trust. The staff's interest in participants' lives and health contributed to a sense of professionalism. Most participants said the problems experienced were not related to their backgrounds as refugees. Many patients did not fully understand which clinic they were attending or the purpose of the care that the specific clinic provided. Some lacked knowledge of their disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Health care was perceived as equal to other Swedish citizens and problems experienced were not explained by refugee backgrounds. Lack of information from care providers and being sent to various levels of care created feelings of a lack of overall medical responsibility.