International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 673–682

Utilization of health-care services among immigrants recruited through non-profit organizations in southern Italy

  • Aida Bianco
  • Elisabetta Larosa
  • Claudia Pileggi
  • Carmelo G. A. Nobile
  • Maria Pavia
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00038-016-0820-1

Cite this article as:
Bianco, A., Larosa, E., Pileggi, C. et al. Int J Public Health (2016) 61: 673. doi:10.1007/s00038-016-0820-1



The study aims were focused on acquiring information about access to health-care services and to investigate the potential barriers affecting full access to health-care services.


The study population consisted of immigrants and refugees aged 18 or more living in Italy for at least 12 months recruited through non-profit organizations.


961 immigrants took part in the study, with a response rate of 98.9 %. Of the participants, 85 % had access to a general practitioner (GP) at least once, and 46.6 and 22.4 % mentioned a minimum one emergency visit and hospital stay, respectively. Diagnostic procedures and/or drug prescriptions (49.7 %), chronic disease control (15.8 %), and preventive interventions (13 %) were the most reported reasons for GP access.


This study yielded current and broader insight into the model of health-care utilization among immigrants. The findings adds to our understanding of the third-sector organizations’ role in facilitating immigrants’ access to services offered by the Italian National Health Service, contributing to the extensive discussion on how to best manage migrant health care in Italy.


Access Barriers Health-care services utilization Immigrant Italy 



General practitioner


Odds ratio


Confidence interval


Emergency department


National Health Service


Non-profit organizations

Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aida Bianco
    • 1
  • Elisabetta Larosa
    • 1
  • Claudia Pileggi
    • 1
  • Carmelo G. A. Nobile
    • 1
  • Maria Pavia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health Sciences, Medical SchoolUniversity of Catanzaro “Magna Græcia”CatanzaroItaly

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