Health emigration: A challenge in paediatric oncology

Luisa M. Massimo, Thomas J. Wiley, Daniela Caprino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the past 10 years European states have experienced an increasing flow of emigrating families from developing countries seeking better medical care for their sick children. For Italian paediatricians this has become a new challenge, considering the cultural differences in customs regarding the illness. The onset of a life-threatening disease has a strong impact on the family. The natural bond between the patient and the family must be preserved and strengthened; parents should be encouraged to entertain their child during hospitalization. The inclusion of art therapy may facilitate communication, especially for children of a different language and culture. This approach can help medical staff to understand better both the child's and the parents' anxieties and feelings. This article discusses facets of the now well-known phenomenon of 'health emigration', that is, when a family searches abroad in the hope of finding the most advanced medical treatment possible for their sick child.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Childhood malignancies
  • Eastern Europe
  • Health care
  • Health emigration of children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Medicine(all)


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