Migrants' utilization of somatic healthcare services in Europe - a systematic review
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › Research › peer-review
Background: Utilization of services is an important aspect of migrants' access to healthcare. The aim was
to review the European literature on utilization of somatic healthcare services related to screening,
general practitioner, specialist, emergency room and hospital by adult first-generation migrants. Our
study question was: ‘Are there differences in migrants' utilization of somatic healthcare services
compared to non-migrants?' Methods: Publications were identified by a systematic search of
PUBMED and EMBASE. Appropriateness of the studies was judged independently by two researchers
based on the abstracts. Additional searches were conducted via the references of the selected articles.
The final number of studies included was 21. Results: The results suggested a diverging picture
regarding utilization of somatic healthcare services by migrants compared to non-migrants in Europe.
Overall, migrants tended to have lower attendance and referral rates to mammography and cervical
cancer screening, more contacts per patient to general practitioner but less use of consultation by
telephone, and same or higher level of use of specialist care as compared to non-migrants.
Emergency room utilization showed both higher, equal and lower levels of utilization for migrants
compared to non-migrants, whereas hospitalization rates were higher than or equal to non-migrants.
Conclusion: Our review illustrates lack of appropriate epidemiological data and diversity in the
categorization of migrants between studies, which makes valid cross-country comparisons most
challenging. After adjusting for socio-economic factors and health status, the existing studies still
show systematic variations in somatic healthcare utilization between migrants and non-migrants.
|Journal||European Journal of Public Health|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
- Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences