International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 627–631 | Cite as

Impact of economic crisis on mental health of migrant workers: what happened with migrants who came to Spain to work?

  • Andrés A. Agudelo-SuárezEmail author
  • Elena Ronda
  • María Luisa Vázquez-Navarrete
  • Ana M. García
  • José Miguel Martínez
  • Fernando G. Benavides
Brief Report



To assess changes in mental health in a sample of migrant workers after the eruption of the economic crisis in Spain.


318 migrant workers were interviewed. Mental health, sociodemographic, and economic crisis related variables were obtained through face-to-face (2008) and phone (2011) interviews. Prevalence of poor mental health (PMH) was compared (2011–2008) and multivariate logistic regression models were fitted.


Change in prevalence of PMH was higher in men (aOR 4.63; 95 % CI 2.11–10.16). Subgroups of men showing the largest detrimental mental health effects were: unemployed, with low salaries (≤1,200 euros) and those reporting family burden. An increase of PMH was found in women, without significant associations.


Mental health of migrant workers in Spain has worsened during the economic crisis.


Working conditions Economic crisis Migrants Mental health Spain 



The authors would like to thank all the individuals from the different cities that agreed to take part in this study and David Freudenthal for the initial framework for the construction of this manuscript. This work was supported by the Healthcare Research Fund of the Spanish Ministry of Health (PI11/01192).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrés A. Agudelo-Suárez
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Elena Ronda
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • María Luisa Vázquez-Navarrete
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ana M. García
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
  • José Miguel Martínez
    • 1
    • 4
  • Fernando G. Benavides
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Research in Occupational Health (CISAL)Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Preventive Medicine and Public Health Area, University of AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  3. 3.Faculty of DentistryUniversity of AntioquiaMedellinColombia
  4. 4.CIBER Epidemiology and Public HealthMadridSpain
  5. 5.Health Policy and Health Services Research Group (GRPSS), Health Policy Research UnitConsortium for Healthcare and social services of CataloniaBarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Department of Preventive Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain

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