Health of undocumented migrants in primary care in Switzerland

Jackson, Yves (Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland ; University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland) ; Paignon, Adeline (Geneva School of Health Sciences, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland) ; Wolff, Hans (University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland) ; Delicado, Noelia (Geneva School of Health Sciences, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland)

Background : Undocumented migrants endure adverse living conditions while facing barriers to access healthcare. Evidence is lacking regarding their healthcare needs, notably in regards to chronic diseases. Our goal was to investigate health conditions in undocumented migrants attended in primary care setting. Methods : This study was conducted at the primary care outpatient clinic, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland. We retrospectively recorded and coded all medical conditions of a random sample of 731 undocumented migrants using the International Classification of Primary Care, 2nd version (ICPC-2). We dichotomized conditions as chronic or non-chronic and considered multimorbidity in the presence of three or more chronic conditions. Results : Participants originated from 72 countries and were mainly female (65.5%) with a mean age of 42.4 (standard deviation [SD]: 11.4) years. They presented a mean of 2.9 (SD: 2.1; range: 1–17) health conditions. In multivariable analysis, the number of conditions was associated with female gender (p = 0.011) and older age (p <0.001), but not with origin (p = 0.373). The body systems most frequently affected were endocrine, metabolic and nutritional (n = 386; 18.4%), musculoskeletal (n = 308, 14.7%) and digestive (n = 266, 12.8%). Hypertension (17.9%; 95% CI: 15.2%, 29.9%), obesity or overweight (16%; 95% CI: 13.4%, 18.9%) and gastric problems (14.1%; 95% CI: 11.6%, 16.8%) were most prevalent. Overall, 71.8% (95% CI: 68.5%, 75%) participants had at least one chronic condition while 20% (95% CI: 17.2%, 23.1%) had three or more. In multivariable analysis, age (p <0.001) was the only predictor of presenting at least one or three or more chronic conditions. Conclusions : Undocumented migrants present multiple health problems in primary care settings and bear an important burden of chronic diseases. The extent of multimorbidity highlights the need to provide and facilitate the access to comprehensive and long-term primary healthcare services.


Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Santé
School:
HEdS - Genève
Institute:
Aucun institut
Subject(s):
Santé
Date:
2018-07
Pagination:
13 p.
Published in:
PLoS ONE
Numeration (vol. no.):
2018, vol. 13, no 7, p. e0201313
DOI:
ISSN:
1932-6203
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2019-01-23, last modified 2019-02-13

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