The aim of this paper is to explore mental ill health among newly arrived immigrants to Sweden, in relation to their legal status and previous exposure to threats, violence and separation and to investigate how their health care needs were met.
Records of health interviews and examinations performed January 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011, in one of six eligible primary health care centers (PHCC) in Stockholm County, Sweden were analysed.
In total, 555 records were collected and reviewed with regard to: age, sex, legal status (asylum seekers and others), exposure to threats and/or violence, exposure to separation from family member, symptoms or diagnoses, and measures taken. Reported symptoms of mental ill health were labeled mental ill health. Where health interviews led to medical examination, records from these were retrieved to investigate the care offered and given. Reporting symptoms of mental ill health was common (43 percent) among the study population. Exposure to threats and violence and separation was more common among asylum seekers who also tended to be more vulnerable to mental ill health than others who had experienced similar exposure.
The health care system should consider the eco‐social conditions that favor recovery. A more generous policy of access to health care among adult asylum seekers is needed and could be an important part of the social stability during the asylum process and in the integration process.
The study demonstrates the need for more structured studies of mental health among asylum seekers in Sweden.
Lindgren, J., Ekblad, S., Asplund, M., Irestig, R. and Burström, B. (2012), "Mental ill health among asylum seekers and other immigrants in Sweden", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 167-179. https://doi.org/10.1108/17479891211287067Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited