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Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2019 Feb 26. doi: 10.1055/a-0847-3234. [Epub ahead of print]

[Potentials of the Third German Socio-Medical Panel of Employees (GSPE-III) for Research in the Field of Migration and Rehabilitation: The Example of Utilization of Rehabilitative Care].

[Article in German; Abstract available in German from the publisher]

Author information

Fakultät für Gesundheit/Department für Humanmedizin, Lehrstuhl für Versorgungsforschung, Universität Witten/Herdecke.
Institut für Sozialmedizin und Epidemiologie, Universität zu Lübeck.


in English, German


The majority of previous studies shows that migrants use medical rehabilitation less often than non-migrants. In some cases, opposite results have been reported. Previous research, however, has different limitations. The present study examines the use of rehabilitation among migrants and non-migrants by means of the Third German Socio-medical Panel of Employees (GSPE-III).


The study is based on the first wave of the GSPE-III, extended by administrative data from the insurance accounts of the respective study participants. The survey was conducted in May 2013 and comprises a risk cohort of insurants of the German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme (Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund) who are at risk of reduced social participation and who received sickness benefits in 2012. We compared non-German nationals, German nationals with a migration background and German nationals without a migration background. Based on the Andersen Healthcare Utilization Model, the quality of life, the self-perceived risk of a reduced earning capacity as well as demographic and socio-economic factors were taken into account as covariates using a logistic regression model.


Of the 2,413 respondents surveyed, 2.7% were foreign nationals and 4.4% were German nationals with a migration background. As compared to Germans with no migration background, Germans with a migration background and non-German nationals did not significantly differ in their utilization of rehabilitation (adjusted odds ratio=0.78, 95%-CI=0.47-1.30 and adjusted odds ratio=0.99; 95%-CI=0.53-1.88, respectively).


The GSPE-III allows overcoming some limitations of previous studies by means of detailed data on migration background as well as the possibility to consider confounding factors at different levels and to link survey with routine data. The results contradict the majority of previous studies and show that epidemiological research on the utilization of rehabilitative care among migrants is inconsistent. For the interpretation of the present findings, it is also necessary to take into account the special properties of the GSPE-III and the comparatively small sample size.


Conflict of interest statement

Die Autoren geben an, dass kein Interessenkonflikt besteht.

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