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Open Access Study protocol

First-episode psychosis and migration in Italy (PEP-Ita migration): a study in the Italian mental health services

Ilaria Tarricone12, Mauro Braca1*, Fabio Allegri1, Giuseppe Barrasso3, Antonello Bellomo4, Vanna Berlincioni5, Bernardo Carpiniello6, Alessio Ceregato7, Marco Conforti Donati1, Samuele Defilippi7, Valeria Del Vecchio8, Corrado De Rosa8, Luigi Ferrannini9, Silvia Ferrari10, Maria Antonietta Furio12, Carla Gramaglia13, Caterina La Cascia1415, Mario Luciano8, Alice Mulè1415, Marcello Nardini1112, Francesca Podavini5, Diego Primavera6, Corinna Reggianini10, Marco Rigatelli10, Orlando Todarello1112, Elena Turella16, Antonio Ventriglio4, Patrizia Zeppegno13, Andrea Fiorillo8 and Domenico Berardi12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Bologna University, Bologna, Italy

2 Department of Mental Health and Pathological Addictions, Local Health Trust, Bologna, Italy

3 Andria Community Mental Health Centre, Andria, BAT, Italy

4 Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Section of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy

5 Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

6 Clinica Psichiatrica - Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy

7 Mental Health Department A.S.L. TO4, Chivasso, TO, Italy

8 Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Napoli, Italy

9 Department of Mental Health ASL 3 Liguria, Genova, Italy

10 U.O. Psichiatria Ospedaliero-Universitaria Modena Centro, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

11 U.O. di Psichiatria - Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria “Consorziale Policlinico” Bari, Bari, Italy

12 Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche di Base, Neuroscienze ed Organi di Senso, Università degli Studi Aldo Moro di Bari, Bari, Italy

13 SC Psichiatria, AOU Ospedale Maggiore della Carità, Dipartimento di Medicina Traslazionale, Università del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro, Novara, Italy

14 Psychiatric Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico “P. Giaccone” Palermo, Palermo, Italy

15 Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neuroscience, Section of Psychiatry, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

16 U.O.A. di Psichiatria di Camposampiero (PD), Camposampiero, PD, Italy

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BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14:186  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-186

Published: 23 June 2014

Abstract

Background

It has been frequently reported a higher incidence of psychotic disorders in immigrants than in native populations. There is, however, a lack of knowledge about risk factors which may explain this phenomenon. A better understanding of the causes of psychosis among first-generation migrants is highly needed, particularly in Italy, a country with a recent massive migration.

Methods/Design

The “Italian study on first-episode psychosis and migration (PEP-Ita)” is a prospective observational study over a two-year period (1 January 2012–31 December 2013) which will be carried out in 11 Italian mental health centres. All participating centres will collect data about all new cases of migrants with first-episode psychosis. The general purpose (“core”) of the PEP-Ita study is to explore the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, and the pathways to care of a population of first-episode psychosis migrants in Italy. Secondary aims of the study will be: 1) to understand risk and protective factors for the development of psychotic disorders in migrants; 2) to evaluate the correlations between psychopathology of psychotic disorders in migrants and socio-demographic characteristics, migration history, life experiences; 3) to evaluate the clinical and social outcomes of first-episode psychoses in migrants.

Discussion

The results of the PEP-Ita study will allow a better understanding of risk factors for psychosis in first-generation migrants in Italy. Moreover, our results will contribute to the development of prevention programmes for psychosis and to the improvement of early intervention treatments for the migrant population in Italy.

Keywords:
Migrants; First-episode psychosis; Italy; Risk factors; Protective factors