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



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.

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General practitioner


Odds ratio


Confidence interval


Emergency department


National Health Service


Non-profit organizations


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Correspondence to Maria Pavia.

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Bianco, A., Larosa, E., Pileggi, C. et al. Utilization of health-care services among immigrants recruited through non-profit organizations in southern Italy. Int J Public Health 61, 673–682 (2016).

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  • Access
  • Barriers
  • Health-care services utilization
  • Immigrant
  • Italy