Italy is the main recipient of asylum seekers in the European region, and Sicily is their first point of arrival. This geographical position creates a large job for Health Authorities to identify and deal with the health of immigrants. This study evaluates the prevalence of disease among asylum seekers, assessing which are associated factors.


A cross-sectional study was conducted to analyse demographic and clinical data in an Acceptance Centres for Asylum Seekers from February 2012 to May 2013. All variables that were found to be significant on unvariable analysis for the most frequent pathologies were included in a multivariable logistic regression model.


Post-traumatic stress disorders with 17.4% and major depression with 7.3% were the most frequent diseases. The factors associated with post-traumatic stress disorders among asylum seekers were: major depression diagnosis (OR=2.91, p=0.004), Pakistan as a country of origin (OR=3.88, p <0.001), the largest number of medical visits (OR=1.02, p=0.033) and refugee status (OR=1.97, p=0.036). The variables linked with the diagnosis of major depression from the multivariable analysis were: suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders (OR=3.83, p <0.001), Pakistan as a country of origin (OR=3.45, p=0.004) and the highest number of visits to psychologist (OR=1.15, p <0.001).


The mental wellbeing of asylum seekers needs special attention, and interventions should be done to prevent the consolidation of psychiatric morbidity. A short psychological screening after the arrival might prove helpful here. Moreover, carefully designed longitudinal studies should be carried out when political recommendations try to change the organization of psychological and healthcare services.

Częstotliwość wydawania:
4 razy w roku
Dziedziny czasopisma:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine