The main aims of this study are to explore the psychosocial and neuropsychological state of health of immigrant patients with chronic disease in Italy, and the development of a first multidimensional neuropsychological screening model for the immigrant population, to promote the validation of a standardized set of tests for populations with different cultural backgrounds. A total of 80 chronic patients were enrolled in the study, including 44 regular immigrant patients and 36 Italian patients (control sample). The multidimensional screening was administered only to participants who demonstrated an adequate level of understanding and production of the Italian language and it was based on three sections: (i) psychosocial evaluation, (ii) neuropsychological assessment and (iii) a semi-structured interview. The first section includes psychosocial scales aimed at investigating basic language skills, health status, perceived social support, the degree of daily perceived discrimination, the socio-economic status and the presence of comorbidity with other clinical disorders. The second section consists of a battery of neuropsychological tests evaluating global cognitive functioning. The semi-structured interviews were recorded and analysed with the method of the agreement between the judges. Psychosocial findings showed that chronic immigrant patients are significantly younger than Italians, perceive greater discrimination and less social support, especially by the family, than Italian patients. Neuropsychological data showed that the chronic immigrant sample appears to be cognitively vulnerable, particularly in short-term auditory-verbal memory and non-verbal abstract reasoning, compared to the Italian sample. The analysis of the interviews reveals some differences were found for the topics referred by all patients, such as, the experience within the outpatient and/or hospital services, that the foreign chronic sample describes as better than the Italian sample.
Keywords: Chronic disease, immigrants, multidimensional evaluation, quali-quantitative research, neuropsychological screening.
Claudia Spinosa, Laura Angioletti, Michela Balconi, Clinical, psychosocial, and neuropsychological evidences in an immigrants’ chronic patients’ sample in Italy in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 1/2020, pp. 221-242, DOI:10.3280/RIP2020-001010