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Vol. 10 - Num. 37

Original Papers

Influence of the ethnic group on the use of services

M.ª Antonia Aretio Romeroa, A García Tartasb

aTrabajadora Social y Socióloga. CS Cascajos. Logroño. España.
bPediatra. CS Rodríguez Paterna. Logroño. España.

Correspondence: MA Aretio. E-mail:

Reference of this article: Aretio Romero MA, García Tartas A. Influence of the ethnic group on the use of services. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2008;10:17-29.

Published in Internet: 31-03-2008 - Visits: 7386


Introduction: the socio-cultural factors (including immigration) influence the use of public health and make the medical services staff to implement new methods or ways of working.

Objective: to asses the relevance of the socio-economic and cultural characteristics of the population in question as determining factors of the health services provided.

Methodology: cross-sectional descriptive research of all the children born in the year 2001 assigned to a paediatrician. Information was gathered through a questionnaire handed over by the paediatrician to the parents as well as checking the clinical records of the child. The research was made from a unique sample.

Results: the gipsy population reaches maternity earlier than the rest and its socio-economic situation is less favourable. They ask for medical services without appointment more frequently, making an inadequate use of the emergency units in a higher proportion, and they come for fewer controls of the Well Child Program, also displaying a higher degree of non-compliance about the advice given. Immigrants occupy an intermediate position between the gipsy and the non-gipsy population, progressively assuming the health guidelines and attendance of the Spanish health system.

Conclusions: the ethnic group and the socio-economic situation definitely condition the use of the paediatric services. The gipsy population makes use of the health services in a different manner. The immigrants aren´t the main cause of the overload of work suffered by professionals. It would seem advisable to re-orientate paediatric services to respond to the peculiarities of each one of the ethnic groups, incorporating group and community based perspectives.


Gypsy Immigration Over utilization Poverty Social and economic determinants

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