The occurrence of diseases and related factors in a center for asylum seekers in italy

Vincenzo Restivo, Alberto Firenze, Caterina La Cascia, Clara Ferrara, Clara Ferrara

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction. Italy is the main recipient of asylum seekers in the European region, and Sicily is their firstpoint of arrival. This geographical position creates a large job for Health Authorities to identify and deal withthe health of immigrants. This study evaluates the prevalence of disease among asylum seekers, assessingwhich are associated factors.Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted to analyse demographic and clinical data in an AcceptanceCentres for Asylum Seekers from February 2012 to May 2013. All variables that were found to be significanton unvariable analysis for the most frequent pathologies were included in a multivariable logistic regressionmodel.Results. Post-traumatic stress disorders with 17.4% and major depression with 7.3% were the most frequentdiseases. The factors associated with post-traumatic stress disorders among asylum seekers were: majordepression diagnosis (OR=2.91, p=0.004),Pakistan as a country of origin (OR=3.88, p<0.001), the largestnumber of medical visits (OR=1.02, p=0.033) and refugee status (OR=1.97, p=0.036). The variables linkedwith the diagnosis of major depression from the multivariable analysis were: suffering from post-traumaticstress disorders (OR=3.83, p<0.001), Pakistan as a country of origin (OR=3.45, p=0.004) and the highestnumber of visits to psychologist (OR=1.15, p<0.001).Conclusions.The mental wellbeing of asylum seekers needs special attention, and interventions should bedone to prevent the consolidation of psychiatric morbidity. A short psychological screening after the arrivalmight prove helpful here. Moreover, carefully designed longitudinal studies should be carried out whenpolitical recommendations try to change the organization of psychological and healthcare services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalSLOVENIAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Volume55
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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