Reducing health disparities: Adherence to referrals for further diagnosis among asylum seeking children

Anat Amit Aharon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Asylum-seeking children are most vulnerable to health problems and non-utilization of health amenities. The aim of the study was to compare adherence with referrals for further diagnostic tests among asylum-seeking children and native Israeli children. Design: A retrospective cohort study. Sample: The study was conducted among 3508 children born in 2016–2017, with two randomized sample groups: Israeli children (n = 243) and asylum-seeking children (n = 271). Data were retrieved from the children's medical files. Measurements: Referrals for further diagnostic tests were defined as written referrals by a public health nurse or pediatrician. Data collected included the child's and mother's details, as well as data on referrals. A multiple logistic regression test was performed to detect risk variables for non-adherence to referrals. Results: No differences were found between the groups regarding adherence to referrals for further diagnosis. Having medical insurance did not explain adherence to referrals. Asylum-seeking children have more need for further follow-up than do Israeli children. Conclusion: Asylum-seeking children and Israeli children respond similarly to the preventive health services offered with equal accessibility. Public health nurses have an essential role in encouraging adherence to screening tests and to referrals for further diagnostic tests and in mitigating health disparities among asylum-seeking children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1254
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • asylum-seeking children
  • developmental, growth, physical disorders
  • health disparities
  • mother-child health clinics


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