Post-migration Social–Environmental Factors Associated with Mental Health Problems Among Asylum Seekers: A Systematic Review

Sohail Jannesari*, Stephani Hatch, Matthew Prina, Sian Oram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


People seeking asylum are at an increased risk of mental disorder compared to refugees and other migrants. This paper aims to understand the impact of postmigration social–environmental factors to help inform efforts to reduce rates of mental disorder. We conducted a systematic review searching 11 databases, as well as 6 government and nongovernment websites. We asked 5 experts for recommendations, and carried out forwards and backwards citation tracking. From 7004 papers 21 were eligible and had the appropriate data. Narrative synthesis was conducted. 24 Social–environmental factors were identified and categorised into 7 themes: working conditions, social networks, economic class, living conditions, healthcare, community and identity, and the immigration system. Evidence suggests that discrimination and post-migration stress are associated with increased rates of mental disorder. The post-migration environment influences the mental health of people seeking asylum. Discrimination and post-migration stress are key factors, warranting further research and public attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1064
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of immigrant and minority health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Asylum seeker
  • Discrimination
  • Mental health
  • Refugees

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