Migrant pathways to community mental health centres in Italy

  • Tarricone I
  • Stivanello E
  • Ferrari S
 et al. 
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Background: Many studies indicate that migrants in western countries have limited access to and low utilization of\r
community mental health centres (CMHCs) despite the high prevalence of mental disorders.\r
Aims: We aimed to compare migrant pathways to care across four CMHCs located in different Italian provinces and to\r
identify pathway to care predictors.\r
Methods: Migrants attending the four CMHCs between 1 July 1999 and 31 December 2007 were included in the study.\r
Data were gathered retrospectively from clinical data sets and chart review.\r
Results: Five hundred and eleven (511) migrants attended the four CMHCs, 61% were referred by GPs or other health\r
services and 39% followed non-medical pathways to care (self-referral or through social and voluntary organizations),\r
with important site variations. Younger age and being married were predictors of medical pathways to care; lacking a\r
residence permit and having a diagnosis of substance abuse were related to non-medical pathways.\r
Conclusions: Pathways to CMHCs are complex and influenced by many factors. Non-medical pathways to care seem to\r
be frequent among migrants in Italy. More attention should be paid to developing psychiatric consultation liaison models\r
that also encompass the social services and voluntary organizations.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Italy
  • community mental health centres
  • migrants
  • pathways to care

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  • Ilaria Tarricone

  • Elisa Stivanello

  • Silvia Ferrari

  • Niccolò Colombini

  • Emilio Bolla

  • Mauro Braca

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