Health Service Use Among Migrants in the German National Cohort-The Role of Birth Region and Language Skills

  • Christian Wiessner
  • Sara Licaj
  • Jens Klein
  • Barbara Bohn
  • Tilman Brand
  • Stefanie Castell
  • Amand Führer
  • Volker Harth
  • Margit Heier
  • Jana-Kristin Heise
  • Bernd Holleczek
  • Stefanie Jaskulski
  • Carmen Jochem
  • Lena Koch-Gallenkamp
  • Lilian Krist
  • Michael Leitzmann
  • Wolfgang Lieb
  • Claudia Meinke-Franze
  • Rafael Mikolajczyk
  • Ilais Moreno Velásquez
  • Nadia Obi
  • Tobias Pischon
  • Sabine Schipf
  • Sigrid Thierry
  • Stefan N Willich
  • Hajo Zeeb
  • Heiko Becher


Objective: To compare health service use (HSU) between migrants and non-migrants in Germany. Methods: Using data from the population-based German National Cohort (NAKO), we compared the HSU of general practitioners, medical specialists, and psychologists/psychiatrists between six migrant groups of different origins with the utilization of non-migrants. A latent profile analysis (LPA) with a subsequent multinomial regression analysis was conducted to characterize the HSU of different groups. Additionally, separate regression models were calculated. Both analyses aimed to estimate the direct effect of migration background on HSU. Results: In the LPA, the migrant groups showed no relevant differences compared to non-migrants regarding HSU. In separate analyses, general practitioners and medical specialists were used comparably to slightly more often by first-generation migrants from Eastern Europe, Turkey, and resettlers. In contrast, the use of psychologists/psychiatrists was substantially lower among those groups. Second-generation migrants and migrants from Western countries showed no differences in their HSU compared to non-migrants. Conclusion: We observed a low mental HSU among specific migrant groups in Germany. This indicates the existence of barriers among those groups that need to be addressed.

Bibliographical data

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Comment Deanary

Copyright © 2024 Wiessner, Licaj, Klein, Bohn, Brand, Castell, Führer, Harth, Heier, Heise, Holleczek, Jaskulski, Jochem, Koch-Gallenkamp, Krist, Leitzmann, Lieb, Meinke-Franze, Mikolajczyk, Moreno Velásquez, Obi, Pischon, Schipf, Thierry, Willich, Zeeb and Becher.

PubMed 38510525