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Depression and Low Labour Market and Social Expectations among Resettled Syrian Refugees in Sweden: Leah Okenwa Emegwa
The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences. Högskolan i Gävle.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0459-1496
The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences. Högskolan i Gävle.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5376-5048
The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences. Karolinska institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6138-6427
2017 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 27, no 3Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Large numbers of refugees have come to Europe in search of safety. For non-refugee migrants, expectations and the extent to which they are met are shown to be integral components of adaptation and wellbeing. This study aims to explore the prevalence of low expectations for labour market, economic and social integration among Syrian refugees recently resettled in Sweden and whether depression is associated with these expectations.

Methods

A random sample of 1215 Syrian refuges of working age recently resettled in Sweden responded to a questionnaire in Arabic. Expectations were assessed by three items developed for this study. Average item score of >1.80 on the depressive symptoms in Hopkins Symptom Checklist indicated depression. Logistic regressions adjusted for demographic factors and social support were conducted. Weighted data was used to produce socio-demographically representative prevalence rates and odds ratios (ORs). Robust standard errors were used to obtain 95% confidence intervals for all estimates.

Results

Prevalence of low economic, social and labour market expectations were 14.1% (95% CI 12.0-16.1), 13.4% (11.3-15.4) and 10.9% (9.1-12.6) respectively. Approximately 40.2% (36.9-43.3) of the participants had depression. Those with depression were about four times more likely to have low economic expectations (OR 3.89, 95% CI 2.66-5.92), three times more likely to have low social (OR 3.1, 2.30-5.24), and labour market (OR 2.83, 1.90-4.47) expectations.

Conclusions

Low expectations, while not widespread, exist among Syrian refugees in Sweden. Notable proportions had depression which was also significantly associated with low expectations. The association between depression and low expectations in keys areas necessary for adaptation and wellbeing in a new land, indicates the need to address mental health issues in current societal level efforts aimed at boosting labour market participation and social inclusion.

Key messages:

  • Notable proportions of Syrian refugees in Sweden have low expectations in domains vital for adaptation and wellbeing in a new land. Depression is significantly associated with low expectations.

  • Low expectation among Syrian refugees in domains vital for adaptation and wellbeing and the association with depression indicate need to address mental health in social and labour market interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 27, no 3
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-2670DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx189.260OAI: oai:DiVA.org:rkh-2670DiVA, id: diva2:1251639
Conference
10th European Public Health Conference, Stockholm, Sweden 1–4 November 2017
Available from: 2018-09-27 Created: 2018-09-27 Last updated: 2018-09-27Bibliographically approved

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Okenwa-Emegwa, LeahSaboonchi, FredrikTinghög, Petter

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