Analysis of Refugee Children Hospitalized in a Tertiary Pediatric Hospital

Yucel H., Akcaboy M., Oztek-Celebi F. Z., Polat E., Sari E., Acoglu E. A., ...More

JOURNAL OF IMMIGRANT AND MINORITY HEALTH, vol.23, no.1, pp.11-18, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10903-020-01026-1
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, PAIS International, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.11-18
  • Keywords: Refugee, Immigrant, Asylum seeker, Children, Hospitalization, Mortality, SYRIAN REFUGEES, ASYLUM SEEKERS, HEALTH-CARE, EUROPE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Refugee children are defined as an at-risk population as they have a high risk of physical and mental health conditions. While data exist regarding the mental health of refugee children, there are limited data about their medical health issues and mortality. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the demographic data, clinical results, treatment/management data, and mortality data of hospitalized refugee children. This is a descriptive study that analyzed the demographic data, clinical findings, treatment/management data, and mortality data of 728 refugee children aged between 1 month and 18 years who were hospitalized in a tertiary pediatric hospital between 2013 and 2018. During the 5 year duration of this study (2013-2018), there were 12,031 patients hospitalized in the department of general pediatrics. Of these patients, 728 (6%) were refugee children [median age 1.2 (IQR 4.4) years]. The most frequent ethnic origin was Syrian, followed by Iraqi and Afghan [465 (63.87%); 174 (23.9%), and 39 (5.3%), respectively]. The median duration of hospitalization was 6 (IQR 6) days. Those refugee patients who were hospitalized in the pediatric intensive care unit were significantly younger [median age 3.7 (IQR 9.4) years]. The mortality rate in the department of general pediatrics was 16.4% for refugee patients and 8.6% for non-refugee patients (p = 0.001). A logistic regression model revealed that factors associated with mortality included younger age (OR 1.6; CI 1.2-2.1) and being a refugee (OR 2.1; CI 1.3-3.2). Our study revealed detailed knowledge about demographic, clinical, and mortality data, with the largest known series about refugee children in the literature. The results show that mortality rates are significantly higher in refugee pediatric patients who are hospitalized in Turkey than in non-refugee patients.