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The progress of psychiatric disorders among young second-generation Greek migrant in Belgium: a one year follow-up study


Several studies reported a higher rate of psychosis across both the first and the second generations of migrants patients. On the contrary, other investigators suggested that the mentioned higher rate of psychotic disorders could be an artefact produced mainly by misdiagnosis. The scope of the study was to investigate the above hypotheses by comparing the appearance and progress of psychiatric disorders of a second-generation Greek migrant group of patients (GP) with a Belgian patients group (BP).

Material and Method

Fifty young second-generation Greek migrant and fifty young Belgian patients, matched for the variables of age and gender, from the psychiatric emergency department of the hospital Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain located in Brussels, were included in our study. The patients were studied during a one year period according to the initial and finally diagnoses, the progressive of their symptomatology, the drug treatment and the psychiatric visits and problems.


At the beginning of the study the percentage of the main aggregate diagnostic categories (psychotic disorders, neurotic disorders and behavioural problems) and the severity of the psychopathology was not differed between the two groups. After the one year follow up the GP group showed a marked improvement in their clinical symptomatology together with a statistical significant decreased of the percentage of the initial psychotic diagnoses. In contrast the BP group showed stabilization in initial diagnoses. There was also a stabilization of the drug therapy among the BP according to the initial diagnoses, which was not observed in the GP group.


Our results are compatible with studies that points out a high percentages of misdiagnoses of psychotic disorders between the immigrants, mainly when cultural and demographic differences of migrants groups weren't taken into account during the initial evaluation of the patients.

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Drossos, A., Nimatoudis, I., Mortreux, B. et al. The progress of psychiatric disorders among young second-generation Greek migrant in Belgium: a one year follow-up study. Ann Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2 (Suppl 1), S141 (2003).

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