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Accessibility of health and social services to immigrant elders: the Islington Study

  • G. Livingston (a1), G. Leavey (a2), G. Kitchen (a3), M. Manela (a3), S. Sembhi (a3) and C. Katona (a3)...

Abstract

Background

Numbers of immigrant elders are increasing and it is unclear whether they can access services.

Aims

To examine service utilisation of older immigrants compared with their UK-born counterparts and relate it to health difficulties.

Method

Cross-sectional study in inner London measuring service use, mental health and disability.

Results

A total of 1085 people aged ⩾65 years were interviewed. Independent predictors of contact with a general practitioner included being born in Cyprus. Cypriots were the only immigrant population to report significantly more somatic symptoms than those born in the UK (P=0.005). Africans and Caribbeans used daycare and other social services most frequently.

Conclusions

Immigrants could access services. Africans and Caribbeans appear to have poorer physical health and thus have greater contact with services. Cypriots who experience depression may present with prominent somatic symptoms. This is likely to be due to a different idiom of distress.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

G. Livingston, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Wolfson Building, 48 Riding House Street, London WIN 8AA, UK. Tel: 020 75302309; fax: 020 75302304; e-mail: g.livingston@ucl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

Part-funded by the Ethnic Health Unit, Department of Health.

Footnotes

References

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Accessibility of health and social services to immigrant elders: the Islington Study

  • G. Livingston (a1), G. Leavey (a2), G. Kitchen (a3), M. Manela (a3), S. Sembhi (a3) and C. Katona (a3)...
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