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Although the full impact of family immigration status on children’s health in the US is poorly understood, there are known barriers to healthcare access for the country’s approximately 11.4 million undocumented immigrants. Understanding parent/caregiver knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs about how their own and their children’s immigration status affects their children’s ability to live a healthy life with adequate healthcare supports may help identify opportunities to improving immigrant children’s well-being.


This study aims to 1) explore pediatric caregiver knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding impacts of immigrant status on healthcare and 2) describe health and social needs of families for whom one or more caregivers has undocumented immigration status and preferred methods for resource connections among undocumented caregivers.


In this qualitative study, we are interviewing and administering an online demographic survey to up to 30 caregivers attending a pediatric health visit. Inclusion criteria are Spanish-speaking, Latin/Hispanic caregivers who are 18 years and older and have no social security number. Enrollment began April 2023 (16 interviews completed to date, with a goal of 20 total). Data is collected anonymously. Interviews are conducted with a qualified bilingual interpreter and are audio recorded, then transcribed and translated verbatim. We are using an inductive, thematic analysis approach. Each transcript is coded independently by 2 team members. The 3-member coding team meets regularly to iteratively refine the interview guide and codebook, resolve coding discrepancies through transcript review and discussion, and identify data saturation. Codes will be organized into themes and subthemes, then refined by the full study team, which includes practicing clinicians, qualitative methods experts, medical Spanish interpreters, and a native Spanish-speakingculture and language coach. We will summarize demographic data will be summarized with descriptive statistics. We will complete interviews and data analysis by March 2024.


Coding is currently in process, but early themes include fears related to immigration/immigration status, logistics of disclosure (to whom to disclose to, where to disclose, etc.), how to increase comfort with disclosure, how immigration status effects access to resources, and what resources immigrant families need in the Kansas City area. These will be refined, analyzed, and summarized by March 2024.

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Pediatric Caregiver Perspectives on Immigration Status in the Healthcare Setting