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Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Dec;60(12):1656-63. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.60.12.1656.

Patterns of psychiatric hospitalization among ethiopian and former soviet union immigrants and persons born in Israel.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ruppin Academic Center, School of Social Sciences and Management and Behavioral Studies, Emek Heffer, Israel. falk1@012.net.il

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study compared the prevalence and patterns of psychiatric hospitalization for persons who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and the Israel-born population.

METHODS:

Data were extracted from the Israel Psychiatric Case Register for six population groups: Operation Moses 1980s immigrants, who emigrated from Ethiopia, January 1, 1980-August 31, 1985 (178 had at least one psychiatric hospitalization within five years of immigration); Operation Moses immigrants in the 1990s, the same group ten years later (194 were hospitalized ten to 14 years after immigration); Operation Solomon 1990s immigrants, who emigrated from Ethiopia in 1990-1991 (184 had at least one hospitalization within five years of immigration); FSU 1990s immigrants, who emigrated from the FSU in 1990-1991 (2,082 had at least one hospitalization within five years of immigration); Israel born 1980s (10,120 had at least one psychiatric hospitalization between January 1, 1980, and August 31, 1985); and Israel born 1990s (11,241 had at least one psychiatric hospitalization in 1990-1994).

RESULTS:

Operation Moses 1980s immigrants differed from the other groups; they had higher rates of hospitalization, less severe diagnoses, and shorter lengths of stay, compared with Israel born 1980s. Ten years later, this group's rates of hospitalization were lower and similar to those of non-Ethiopian populations, and the individuals in this group were more likely to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia or other psychosis, compared with the other groups. The hospitalization pattern for Operation Solomon 1990s immigrants fell between that of Operation Moses 1980s immigrants and Operation Moses immigrants in the 1990s. For immigrants from the FSU, the hospitalization rate was similar to that of Israel born 1990s and Operation Moses immigrants in the 1990s and much lower than that of Operation Solomon 1990s immigrants.

CONCLUSIONS:

Marked sociocultural differences between immigrants and the host society and the understanding of these differences by mental health professionals may influence rates and patterns of psychiatric hospitalization more than the immigration experience itself.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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