Starting date
April 1, 2017
Duration (months)
Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences
Managers or local contacts
Barbui Corrado

In recent years Italy has seen a progressive rise in the number of migrants displaced from low- and middle-income countries, with significant social, economic, humanitarian and public health implications. In particular, the provision of health care is a challenge for national health services of high-income countries, and the provision of mental healthcare has become a real emergency. Up-to-date information on the rate and characteristics of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders are urgently needed to implement interventions specifically focused on the needs and cultural characteristics of this population. Another compelling issue is the definition of interventions that can be effectively implemented once psychological and psychiatric distress has been identified. Based on these grounds, this project aims at: (a) systematically reviewing existing evidence on the prevalence of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders, and on the efficacy and acceptability of psychological and pharmacological interventions, in migrants displaced in high-income countries, and (b) conducting an epidemiological survey on the frequency of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders in a sample of migrants seeking international protection in the catchment area of Verona. Collecting data on the prevalence of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders in migrants, and on theefficacy of interventions, will represent an essential evidence base for any initiative of implementation of a mental healthcare component for migrants in high-income countries. Additionally, the comparison of the information from the literature with the epidemiological data collected in the area of Verona will generate information about a feasible, evidence-based and sustainable mental healthcare model that might be "exported" and proposed to other countries, and that might be fully implemented on a permanent basis into the standard pathways of healthcare in the catchment area of Verona.

Project participants

Corrado Barbui
Full Professor


Research facilities