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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1986;

Prevalence of Depression among Migrants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119228, Singapore
Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119077, Singapore
Department of Psychological Medicine, National University Health System, Singapore 119228, Singapore
Institute for Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
Institute for Global Health Innovations, Duy Tan University, Da Nang 550000, Vietnam
Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 1R8, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
Full-Text   |   PDF [778 KB, uploaded 12 September 2018]   |  


As the number of migrants worldwide increases, it is worthwhile to examine the extent to which depression has affected this group of often vulnerable individuals. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to examine the aggregate prevalence of depression among international migrants and to explore the variations in prevalence with demographic and educational factors. A search was conducted on the online databases PubMed and ScienceDirect whole using the terms “depression”, “depressive disorder”, “immigration”, “immigrant”, “migration”, and “migrant”. A total of 25 studies met our inclusion criteria. A random-effects model meta-analysis calculated an aggregate prevalence of 15.6% among migrants. Heterogeneity was identified by meta-regression and subgroup analyses, and the level of educational attainment, employment status, and length of residency spent in country of migration were found to be significant moderators contributing to depression prevalence. In conclusion, newly arrived migrants appear to be susceptible to developing depression and it is imperative that more in the form of preventive strategies and increased assistance be incorporated to ensure their psychological wellbeing and improve their mental health outcomes. Further research should be conducted to better understand the risk of psychiatric disorders among members of this subpopulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: depression; migrant; migration depression; migrant; migration

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Foo, S.Q.; Tam, W.W.; Ho, C.S.; Tran, B.X.; Nguyen, L.H.; McIntyre, R.S.; Ho, R.C. Prevalence of Depression among Migrants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1986.

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