Factors Associated to the Onset of Mental Illness Among Hospitalized Migrants to Italy: A Chart Review

Antonio Ventriglio*, Antonello Bellomo, Annamaria Petito, Marco Pascucci, Edwige Cuozzo, Giovanna Vitrani, Eleonora Stella, Luisa Borraccino, Maria Pia Varlese, Dinesh Bhugra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Migration is a complex phenomenon and mental illness among immigrants remains a major matter of concern in Italy and worldwide. 243 medical and pharmacy records of patients admitted to University of Foggia hospital between 2004 and 2018 were retrospectively screened and included in the study. Socio-demographic data and clinical characteristics of inpatients were compared in those with and without first-episode of mental illness (FEMI). Subjects (140 men, 103 women; aged 34.4 ± 10.2 years) represented 6.66 ± 3.73% of all hospitalizations in 15 years. Nearly half of them (48.5%) had emigrated from other European countries. 30.8% were diagnosed with a DSM-IV TR unspecified psychosis. 103 patients (42.3%) were in first-lifetime episodes of mental illness. Factors significantly associated with FEMI were: younger age, sex (men), immigrating from Africa, poor language proficiency, lower amount of prescribed psychotropics. Mental health among immigrants is of major concern in Italy. Our findings report on factors possibly associated to the onset of mental illness among immigrant psychiatric inpatients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of immigrant and minority health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • First-episode
  • Hospitalization
  • Immigrants
  • Italy
  • Mental illness


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