This mixed-methods study aimed to investigate the relationship between migration and psychological symptoms for women living in London.
Data from a cross-sectional survey (the South East London Community Health Study) were analysed to investigate whether first generation migrant women were significantly more likely to experience high levels of psychological symptoms (for common mental disorders (CIS-R) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (4 item PTSD screen)) than women born in the UK. Exploratory analyses investigated what migration specific variables may increase the risk of experiencing high levels of psychological symptoms.
Qualitative in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of migrant women and women born in the UK investigated what experiences women perceive impacted on their mental health and well-being, how they have been affected, and how this differs for migrant women and women born in the UK. A thematic analysis was carried out.
391 migrant women and 553 women born in the UK were included in the survey. There was no significant difference in the odds of experiencing high levels of psychological symptoms for migrant women compared with women born in the UK (AOR: 1.0 [95% CI 0.7-1.6]). Stressful life events and long standing physical conditions were associated with an increased risk of experiencing psychological symptoms, and were highly prevalent among migrant women and women born in the UK.
Twenty migrant women and ten women born in the UK participated in the qualitative interviews. Processes of marginalisation, disempowerment, and isolation contributed to women’s exposure to stressful life events, and changes in their mental health and well-being. Coping processes were also identified.
Services must consider exposure to stressful events, comorbidities, and underlying processes when addressing the mental health needs of women.
|Date of Award
|4 Apr 2014
|Stephani Hatch (Supervisor) & Louise Howard (Supervisor)