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Open AccessArticle

Major Depressive Syndrome (MDS) and its Association with Time of Residence among Spanish Speaking Au-Pairs Living in Germany

1
Center for International Health, University Hospital, LMU Munich, 80336 Munich, Germany
2
Institute and Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, LMU Munich, 80336 Munich, Germany
3
Center for Translational Research in Oncology, Instituto do Câncer do Estado de São Paulo, 01246000 São Paulo, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234764
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health Burden: Emerging Challenges and Future Solutions)
The number of au-pairs in Germany is on the rise. In 2017, about 13,500 au-pairs were living in German families, almost half of them originating from non-European Union (EU) countries and many of them from Spanish speaking countries. Knowledge about mental health among au-pairs in Germany is limited. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of Major Depressive Syndrome (MDS) and its potential association with time of residence among Spanish speaking au-pairs living in Germany via an exploratory analysis. This study included a sample of 409 Spanish speaking au-pairs living in Germany. We classified the au-pairs into those who lived less than three weeks in Germany (newcomer au-pairs) and those who lived more than three weeks (experienced au-pairs). The participants were recruited by an online survey (Facebook and Instagram) from August 2018 to June 2019. Socio-demographic characteristics, time of residence in Germany and the level of education were assessed. MDS was assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire depression module (PHQ-9). Poisson regression models were calculated to evaluate the association between time of residence in Germany and prevalence of MDS. Most of the participants were female (91%). Almost half of them came from Colombia (48%) and were in the age range between 22–24 years (40%). Prevalence of MDS was 8% among newcomers and 19% among experienced au-pairs (p = 0.002). Differences remained statistically significant after adjustment for potential confounders (age, level of education and time of residence in Germany) (prevalence ratio 2.25; 95% confidence interval: 1.22–4.14). In conclusion, au-pairs may develop mental symptoms during their time abroad. Future prospective studies should aim at identifying potential risk factors and preventive measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: au-pairs; migrants; time of residence; mental health; major depressive syndrome au-pairs; migrants; time of residence; mental health; major depressive syndrome
MDPI and ACS Style

Espinoza-Castro, B.; Weinmann, T.; Mendoza López, R.; Radon, K. Major Depressive Syndrome (MDS) and its Association with Time of Residence among Spanish Speaking Au-Pairs Living in Germany. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4764.

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