Perceived need for mental health care among non-western labour migrants
- First Online:
There is a supposed higher prevalence of common mental disorders among many migrant groups. At the same time, problems are reported regarding underutilisation of mental health services by migrants. Since perceived need for care is a powerful predictor of actual care utilisation, we aimed to study the hypothesis that, given the same level of mental morbidity, non-Western migrants would perceive less need for mental health care than ethnic Dutch residents. Additionally, we studied the extent to which needs are met in both groups, as well as several possible barriers to care.
A cross-sectional study with data from the 2004/2005 Amsterdam Health Monitor. Data were complete from 626 ethnic Dutch and non-Western (Turkish and Moroccan) labour migrants. Respondents participated in a structured interview in their own language, which included the perceived need for care questionnaire (PNCQ) and the composite international diagnostic interview (CIDI) version 2.1 for anxiety and depressive disorders.
Perceived need was much higher among Turkish migrants. Among Moroccans the perceived need was comparable to ethnic Dutch. Turkish migrants also reported that needs were met less often than ethnic Dutch. Differences were explained by a higher prevalence of common mental disorders and higher symptom levels among Turkish. When differences in mental morbidity were taken into account, Moroccans perceived less need for information, drugs, referral to specialised mental health care, or for counselling. The most important barrier to care in all ethnic groups was the preference to solve the problem on one’s own.
In case of similar mental morbidity, perceived need for care was lower than among ethnic Dutch. The results did not support the hypothesis that in case of similar mental distress, needs of migrants were less often met than needs of ethnic Dutch.
Keywordsethnic groups health services needs depressive disorders anxiety disorders mental health care
- 11.Derogatis LR (1997) SCL: administration, scoring, and procedures. Manual II. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
- 12.de Valk H, Esveldt I, Henkens K et al (2001) Old and new allochtones in the Netherlands: a demographic profile [in Dutch]. Scientific council for government policy (WRR), The HagueGoogle Scholar
- 13.de Wit MAS, Tuinebreijer WC, Dekker J et al A population based study among native Dutch, and Turkish, Moroccan and Surinamese migrants in Amsterdam. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (in press)Google Scholar
- 15.Ettema JHM, Arrindell WA (2003) SCL-90. Manual for a multidimensional psychopathology indicator [in Dutch]. Swets & Zeitlinger, LisseGoogle Scholar
- 18.Karam EG, Yabroudi P, Nasser-Karam A, Mansour C, Sabah S, Al Atrash R (1995) The Arabic composite international diagnostic interview (CIDI). Arab J Psychiatry 6:19–29Google Scholar
- 23.Kleinman A (1988) The illness narratives. Suffering, healing, and the human condition. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 24.Knipscheer JW, Kleber RJ (2005) Migrants in mental health care: empirical findings on health, help-seeking behaviour, need for help and appreciation of healthcare [in Dutch]. Tijdschr Psychiatr 47:753–759Google Scholar
- 34.Messing J (2003) De andere stem. Interculturalisatie van de ggz vanuit het perspectief van migranten en vluchtelingen [The other voice. Interculturalisation of mental health care from the perspective of migrants and refugees]. GGZ Nederland, UtrechtGoogle Scholar
- 36.O&S (2007) http://www.os.amsterdam.nl. Accessed 29 May 2007, Department for Research and Statistics, Amsterdam
- 37.Oomens S, Driessen G, Scheepers P (2003) The integration of migrant parents and educational achievements of their children: some migrant groups compared [in Dutch]. Tijdschr Sociol 24:289–312Google Scholar
- 47.Social and Cultural Planning Office of the Netherlands (SCP) (2004) Muslim in the Netherlands. SCP, The HagueGoogle Scholar
- 48.Stein D (2000) Views of mental illness in Morocco: western medicine meets the traditional symbolic. CMAJ 28:1468–1470Google Scholar
- 52.Verhoeff AP, Ekkelboom M, Nevenzeel S et al (2005) Improving access and quality of primary healthcare for migrants in the city of Amsterdam: migrant health educators bridging the gap between patients and general practitioners. J Urban Health 82(Suppl 2):ii97Google Scholar
- 53.Ware JE, Gandek B, the IQOLA Project Group (1994) The SF-36 Health Survey: development and use in mental health research and the IQOLA Project. Int J Ment Health 23:49–73Google Scholar
- 55.WHO (1997) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) version 2.1. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar