Table 2

Clinical vignettes submitted to health professionals

Primary care Services

A&E department

Mental health Services


Clinical Situation

A male, 28 years old, coming from [insert a country], presents with pain when urinating and has a slight fever. He does not speak any language that the doctor understands. He has no insurance, no identification, and no residency permit.

The patient arrived in the host country as an irregular immigrant about 1 year ago. He is 25 years of age and of [insert a country] origin. He does not speak any language that the A&E staff understands and presents with an intense lower abdominal pain.

The patient arrived in the host country as an irregular immigrant about 1 year ago. She is 25 years of age and of [insert a country] origin. She does not speak the language of the host country, has no social contacts and appears severely depressed.


Question 1

From your perspective, what are the differences, if any, in the treatment for this patient compared to a patient with a similar condition from the indigenous population?


Question 2

From the perspective of a patient, what do you think are the specific problems this patient would encounter that are different from those of a patient with a similar condition from the indigenous population, and how would they be overcome?


Question 3

What are the specific further pathways and treatment options, if any, for this patient that are different from those of a patient with a similar condition from the indigenous population?


Question 4a

Would you inform the police and/or other authorities?


Question 4b

Is this scenario at all possible, or are there barriers preventing irregular immigrants from using your service?


† For respondents in primary care services and A&E departments only.

‡ For respondents in mental health services only. Due to the gatekeeping systems that exist in most European countries for mental health services, even for legal patients, the likelihood of an IM presenting in mental health services was investigated [25]. Mental health services were selected as examples of secondary services.

Dauvrin et al. BMC Research Notes 2012 5:99   doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-99

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