Impact of stressful life events on migrant women's mental health and well-being
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Introduction: There is limited research on predictors of poor mental health for migrant women. This mixed-methods study investigated: 1) the impact of migration and stressful life events on the risk of common mental disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; 2) what experiences women perceive have impacted on their mental health and well-being, and how they have been affected. Methods: Cross-sectional survey (South East London Community Health Study) using a standardised diagnostic clinical interview (CIS-R) and other validated measures; qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of immigrant women and women born in the UK. Results: 391 immigrant women and 553 women born in the UK were included in the survey. There was a high prevalence of potentially traumatic events among migrant women (66.5%; 95% CI 61.4 71.3) and women born in the UK (71.4%; 95% CI 67.2 75.2), which increased the risk of poor mental health. However, there was no significant difference in the odds of poor mental health for migrant women compared with women born in the UK (AOR 1.0; 95% CI 0.7-1.6). 20 immigrant women and ten women born in the UK participated in the qualitative interviews. Abuse and powerlessness were found to negatively impact on women's mental health and well-being; legal status, financial instability, and isolation were particularly salient barriers to coping for migrant women. Conclusions: Stressful life events (e.g. abuse) and psychosocial barriers (e.g. powerlessness) impact on women's mental health; migrant women may experience specific barriers to help-seeking. These factors need identification by healthcare professionals.
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe gaps in research on migration and mental health across diverse communities of women.
Identify risk factors for migrant women’s mental health, and how these women are affected.
Discuss migrant women’s mental health needs, and implications for future research and services.
Keyword(s): Immigrant Women, Mental Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently conducting my doctoral research on the impact of migration and stressful life events on women's mental health and well-being. I am qualified to be an abstract author on the content I am submitting here because it is the findings of this doctoral research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.