Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 5, pp 381–385 | Cite as

How Are New Refugees Doing in Canada?

Comparison of the Health and Settlement of the Kosovars and Czech Roma
  • Lynda Redwood-Campbell
  • Nancy Fowler
  • Janusz Kaczorowski
  • Elizabeth Molinaro
  • Susan Robinson
  • Michelle Howard
  • Morteza Jafarpour
Article

Abstract

Background

In 1999, a group of Kosovars arrived in Hamilton, Ontario, with a coordinated international pre-migration plan, as part of the United Nations Humanitarian Evacuation Program. Since 1997, a substantial number of Roma refugees from the Czech Republic also arrived in Hamilton, with no special pre-migration planning. This study examined whether the organized settlement efforts led to better adaptation and perceived health for the Kosovars, using the Czech Roma as a comparison group.

Methods

Adult members of 50 Kosovar (n=157 individuals) and 50 Czech Roma (n=76 individuals) randomly selected families completed a questionnaire on sociodemographics, health, well-being, and perceived adaptation to Canada. Differences between groups were examined using univariate and multivariate analyses. Comparison was made to the Ontario population where possible.

Results

There were more Kosovars than Czech Roma over the age of 50 (22.1% vs 10.5%, p=0.03). Nearly one quarter (21.7%) of the Kosovars had a score indicating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), compared to none of the Roma (p<0.001). After adjustment for age and PTSD, the Kosovars were significantly more likely to report fair or poor adaptation to Canada (OR=10.5, 95% CI=3.6-31.2) and that life is somewhat or very stressful (OR=3.9, 95% CI=2.1-7.4). Differences for other measures were no longer significant after adjustment.

Conclusions

The health and adaptation of the Kosovars was not better than that of the Czech Roma. Reasons for this finding may include differences in demographics, the presence of PTSD, and differing length of time since arrival in Canada.

Résumé

Contexte

En 1999, un groupe de Kosovars arrivait à Hamilton (Ontario) dans le cadre d’un plan international pré-migratoire coordonné par le Programme d’évacuation humanitaire des Nations Unies. Depuis 1997, un nombre important de réfugiés tziganes de la République tchèque sont également arrivés à Hamilton, mais sans le bénéfice d’une planification pré-migratoire. Nous avons voulu déterminer si les efforts d’établissement organisés ont amélioré l’adaptation et la santé perçue des Kosovars, en utilisant les Tziganes tchèques comme groupe témoin.

Méthode

Les membres adultes de 50 familles kosovares (n=157) et de 50 familles tziganes tchèques (n=76) sélectionnées au hasard ont rempli un questionnaire comportant des données socio-démographiques, sur la santé, sur le bien-être et sur l’adaptation perçue au Canada. Les différences entre les groupes ont été examinées à l’aide d’analyses bivariées et multivariées. Dans la mesure du possible, nous avons comparé les données obtenues à celles de la population ontarienne.

Résultats

Les Kosovars de plus de 50 ans étaient plus nombreux que les Tziganes tchèques de cette tranche d’âge (22,1 % contre 10,5 %, p=0,03). Près du quart (21,7 %) des Kosovars avaient un score indiquant un syndrome de stress post-traumatique (SSPT) selon le questionnaire Harvard d’évaluation des traumatismes, mais ce n’était le cas pour aucun des Tziganes (p<0,001). Après ajustement selon l’âge et le SSPT, les Kosovars étaient de manière significative plus susceptibles de déclarer s’être mal ou passablement adaptés au Canada (RC=10,5, IC de 95 % = 3,6-31,2) et avoir une vie assez ou très stressante (RC= 3,9, IC de 95 % = 2,1-7,4). Les différences constatées par d’autres mesures n’étaient plus significatives après ajustement.

Conclusions

La santé et l’adaptation des Kosovars n’étaient pas meilleures que celles des Tziganes tchèques. Ce résultat pourrait s’expliquer par les écarts démographiques, le SSPT et la durée du séjour au Canada dans chaque groupe.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Broad Survey on the integration of resettled refuges: Overview, Geneva: UNHCR, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mollica RF, Sarajlic N, Chernoff M, Lavelle J, Sarajlic I, Massagli, MP. Longitudinal study of psychiatric symptoms, disability, mortality, and emigration among Bosnian refugees. JAMA 2001;286:546–54.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lopes Cardozo B, Vergara A, Agani F. Mental health, social functioning, and attitudes of Kosovar Albanians following the war in Kosovo. JAMA 2000;284:569–77.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    NGO Sector. Refugee Settlement Policy in New Zealand: A Report for the incoming Coalition Government, 2000.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Robinson, V. Cultures of ignorance, disbelief and denial: Refugees in Wales. J Refugee Studies 1999;12:78–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Immigration Research Programme. Refugee Resettlement Research Project ‘Refugee Voices’. New Zealand Immigration Service, 2001.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Best Settlement Practices: Settlement services for refugees and immigrants in Canada. Canadian Council for Refugees. 1998;1–42.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ontario Ministry of Health. Ontario Health Survey, 1990. User’s Guide. Toronto, 1992.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division. Canada Health Survey. Ottawa, 1979.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mollica RF, Caspi-Yavin Y, Bollini P, Truong T, Tor S, Lavelle J. The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. Validating a cross-cultural instrument for measuring torture, trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder in Indochinese refugees. J Nerv Ment Dis 1992;180:111–16.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Canadian Task Force on mental health issues affecting immigrants and refugees. After the door has been opened. Mental health issues affecting immigrants and refugees in Canada. Ottawa: Health and Welfare Canada, 1988.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    National Population Health Survey. Household component 1996–1997 (Cycle 2). Public Use Microdata Files. Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, 1998.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Altinkaya, J. A Study of 1995 Vote: Education funded ESOL provision for adult learners in Aukland and Wellington. Research report: Wellington, 1995.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Beaglehole A. Refugees from Central Europe in New Zealand. In: Abbott M. (Ed.), Refugee Resettlement and Well-being. Auckland: Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, 1989.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bowman, B and Edwards, M. The Indochinese Refugee: An Overview. Austr New Zeal J Psychiatry 1984;18:40–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynda Redwood-Campbell
    • 1
  • Nancy Fowler
    • 1
  • Janusz Kaczorowski
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Molinaro
    • 1
  • Susan Robinson
    • 1
  • Michelle Howard
    • 1
  • Morteza Jafarpour
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO)HamiltonCanada

Personalised recommendations