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Factors Influencing the Accuracy of Infectious Disease Reporting in Migrants: A Scoping Review

Interinstitutional Epidemiology Unit, AUSL Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, 42123 Reggio Emilia, Italy
National Centre for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy
Research and Innovation Unit, AUSL Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 17183 Stockholm, Sweden
IS Global, Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB), Hospital Clínic, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jimmy T. Efird and Pollie Bith-Melander
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 720;
Received: 16 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee Health)
PDF [533 KB, uploaded 7 July 2017]


We conducted a scoping review of literature to improve our understanding of the accuracy of infectious disease monitoring in migrants in the Europe. We searched PubMed for papers relevant to the topic including: case reports, observational and experimental studies, reviews, guidelines or policy documents; published after 1994. We identified 532 papers, 27 of which were included in the review. Legislation and right to access health care influence both the accuracy of rates and risk measures under estimating the at risk population, i.e., the denominator. Furthermore, the number of reported cases, i.e., the numerator, may also include cases not accounted for in the denominator. Both biases lead to an overestimated disease occurrence. Restriction to healthcare access and low responsiveness may cause under-detection of cases, however a quantification of this phenomenon has not been produced. On the contrary, screening for asymptomatic diseases increases ascertainment leading to increased detection of cases. Incompleteness of denominator data underestimates the at-risk population. In conclusion, most studies show a lower probability of under-reporting infectious diseases in migrants compared with native populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: migrant health; infectious diseases; surveillance; under-reporting migrant health; infectious diseases; surveillance; under-reporting

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Giorgi Rossi, P.; Riccardo, F.; Pezzarossi, A.; Ballotari, P.; Dente, M.G.; Napoli, C.; Chiarenza, A.; Velasco Munoz, C.; Noori, T.; Declich, S. Factors Influencing the Accuracy of Infectious Disease Reporting in Migrants: A Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 720.

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