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Health related quality of life in immigrants and native school aged adolescents in Spain
  1. Karin Pantzer1,
  2. Luis Rajmil1,
  3. Cristian Tebé1,
  4. Francisco Codina2,
  5. Vicky Serra-Sutton1,
  6. Montse Ferrer3,
  7. Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer4,
  8. Marie-Claude Simeoni5,
  9. Jordi Alonso3
  1. 1Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Centre d’Atenció Primària de Lloret, Lloret, Spain
  3. 3Institut Municipal d’Investigació Mèdica, Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany
  5. 5Université de Marseille, Marseille, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr L Rajmil
 Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research, Recinte Pere Virgili. Esteve Terradas, 30, Edifici Mestral, 1a Planta, 08023 Barcelona, Spain; lrajmil{at}


Objectives: To compare health related quality of life (HRQL) between native and immigrant adolescents aged 12 to 18 years, and to analyse psychosocial factors associated with HRQL.

Design: A cross sectional study of adolescents (12–18 years old) who answered a self administered questionnaire.

Setting: All the secondary schools from Lloret de Mar (Girona, Spain).

Participants: 1246 participants (88.9% of the eligible students).

Main outcome measures: Main outcome was the Spanish version of the Vecu et Sante Percue de l’Adolescent (VSP-A), a HRQL measure addressed to adolescents. Mean scores of the VSP-A index of natives and immigrants were compared, as well as their sociodemographic and health related factors. Multiple regression examined the relation between HRQL and psychosocial factors, controlling for the effect of socioeconomic variables.

Results: Half of the sample were boys, in the middle socioeconomic status, and 18.2% were immigrants (n = 226). HRQL score was higher in native Spanish adolescents than immigrants (p<0.01). Multiple regression model explaining 48.1% of the VSP-A variance showed that migration in itself has no statistically significant impact on HRQL, and age, socioeconomic status, social support, discrimination, and psychological distress do play a part.

Conclusions: Migrants have worse HRQL than natives but it seems to be mediated by their disadvantage in socioeconomic status, social support, and psychological distress.

  • SES, socioeconomic status
  • HRQL, health related quality of life
  • VSP-A, Vecu et Sante Percue de l’Adolescent
  • FAS, family affluence scale
  • children
  • health related quality of life
  • immigration
  • self perceived health

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  • Funding: partially financed by the Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria, Spanish Ministry of Health (contract no PI0212206) and the Network of excellence on Health outcomes and Health Services Research IRYSS (contract no G03/202).

  • Competing interests: none declared.

  • A preliminary version of this work was presented at the 12th annual ISOQOL conference, in San Francisco, and represented the Minor Thesis of Karin Pantzer to achieve Master in Public Health qualification.

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