The increasing presence of documented and undocumented migrants increases the commitment of the Italian National Health Service to their health needs, following its founding principle of equity. In particular, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, represent a crucial area where patients' health is affected by their adherence to care pathways, for which the recent literature has reported alarming low levels. In the case of migrants, obstacles to adherence, such as language or organizational barriers, could be overcome thanks also to charitable organizations providing healthcare services. In this study, we aimed to compare the adherence among documented and undocumented migrants who received healthcare services in Milan, Italy, either from the National Health Service (NHS) or from a charitable organization. We identified a cohort of newly taken into care diabetic patients composed of two groups: (i) documented migrants that attend the NHS; and (ii) undocumented migrants that attend a charity. Information was tracked by merging two datasets: the regional healthcare information system of Lombardy, and a unique dataset that collects data on specialistic visits and pharmaceutical prescriptions for all people visiting one of the most prominent charitable organizations in Italy. The annual diabetologist visit was used as the measure of adherence. The probability of being adherent was compared among the two groups by using a multivariate log-binomial regression model, considering a set of personal characteristics that may impact health behaviors. The cohort comprised 6429 subjects. The percentage of adherence was 52% among the documented migrants, and 74% among the undocumented. Regression results confirmed this pattern: undocumented patients have an increased probability of being adherent by 1.19 times (95% CI: 1.12 to 1.26) compared to documented ones. Our study revealed the potentiality of charitable organizations in guaranteeing continuity of care to undocumented migrants. We argue that this mechanism would benefit from central coordination by the government.

A cohort study on diabetic undocumented migrants in Italy: can charitable organizations contribute to higher adherence?

Listorti, Elisabetta
;
Torbica, Aleksandra;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The increasing presence of documented and undocumented migrants increases the commitment of the Italian National Health Service to their health needs, following its founding principle of equity. In particular, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, represent a crucial area where patients' health is affected by their adherence to care pathways, for which the recent literature has reported alarming low levels. In the case of migrants, obstacles to adherence, such as language or organizational barriers, could be overcome thanks also to charitable organizations providing healthcare services. In this study, we aimed to compare the adherence among documented and undocumented migrants who received healthcare services in Milan, Italy, either from the National Health Service (NHS) or from a charitable organization. We identified a cohort of newly taken into care diabetic patients composed of two groups: (i) documented migrants that attend the NHS; and (ii) undocumented migrants that attend a charity. Information was tracked by merging two datasets: the regional healthcare information system of Lombardy, and a unique dataset that collects data on specialistic visits and pharmaceutical prescriptions for all people visiting one of the most prominent charitable organizations in Italy. The annual diabetologist visit was used as the measure of adherence. The probability of being adherent was compared among the two groups by using a multivariate log-binomial regression model, considering a set of personal characteristics that may impact health behaviors. The cohort comprised 6429 subjects. The percentage of adherence was 52% among the documented migrants, and 74% among the undocumented. Regression results confirmed this pattern: undocumented patients have an increased probability of being adherent by 1.19 times (95% CI: 1.12 to 1.26) compared to documented ones. Our study revealed the potentiality of charitable organizations in guaranteeing continuity of care to undocumented migrants. We argue that this mechanism would benefit from central coordination by the government.
2023
2023
Listorti, Elisabetta; Torbica, Aleksandra; Cella, Silvano G.; Fiorini, Gianfrancesco; Corrao, Giovanni; Franchi, Matteo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4055540
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