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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Agudelo-Suarez A et al (2009a) Discrimination, work and health in immigrant populations in Spain. Soc Sci Med 68(10):1866–1874. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.02.046
Agudelo-Suarez AA et al (2009b) Proceso migratorio, condiciones laborales y salud en trabajadores inmigrantes en España (proyecto ITSAL) [The migratory process, working conditions and health in immigrant workers in Spain (the ITSAL project)]. Gaceta Sanitaria/SESPAS 23(Suppl 1):115–121. doi:10.1016/j.gaceta.2009.07.007
Agudelo-Suarez AA, Benavides FG, Felt E, Ronda-Perez E, Vives-Cases C, Garcia AM (2010) Sickness presenteeism in Spanish-born and immigrant workers in Spain. BMC Public Health 10:791. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-791
Agudelo-Suarez AA et al (2011) The effect of perceived discrimination on the health of immigrant workers in Spain. BMC Public Health 11:652. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-652
Catalano R (2009) Health, medical care, and economic crisis. N Engl J Med 360(8):749–751. doi:10.1056/NEJMp0809122
Davila Quintana CD, Gonzalez Lopez-Valcarcel B (2009) Crisis económica y salud [The economic crisis and health]. Gaceta Sanitaria/SESPAS 23(4):261–265. doi:10.1016/j.gaceta.2009.04.003
Delclos CE, Benavides FG, Garcia AM, Lopez-Jacob MJ, Ronda E (2011) From questionnaire to database: field work experience in the ‘Immigration, work and health survey’ (ITSAL Project). Gaceta Sanitaria/SESPAS 25(5):419–422. doi:10.1016/j.gaceta.2011.03.018
Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission (2009) Economic crisis in Europe: causes, consequences and responses. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg
European Comission (2012) Eurostat. European estatistics. In. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/. Accessed 19/03/2012
Garcia AM (2010) Mercado laboral y salud. Informe SESPAS 2010 [Labor market and health. SESPAS Report 2010]. Gaceta sanitaria/SESPAS 24 Suppl 1:62-7 doi:10.1016/j.gaceta.2010.07.002
Goldberg D, Williams P (1996) Cuestionario de Salud General. GHQ [General Health Questionnaire GHQ]. Masson Barcelona
Instituto Nacional de Estadística [National Institute of Statistics] (2012a) Encuesta de Población Activa [Active Population Survey]. In. http://www.ine.es/jaxi/menu.do?type=pcaxis&path=/t22/e308_mnu&file=inebase&N=&L=0. Accessed 19/02/2012
Instituto Nacional de Estadística [National Institute of Statistics] (2012b) Información estadística [Statistical data]. In. http://www.ine.es. Accessed 19/01/2012
Kentikelenis A, Papanicolas I (2012) Economic crisis, austerity and the Greek public health system. Eur J Pub Health 22(1):4–5. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckr190
Kentikelenis A, Karanikolos M, Papanicolas I, Basu S, McKee M, Stuckler D (2011) Health effects of financial crisis: omens of a Greek tragedy. Lancet 378(9801):1457–1458. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61556-0
Papademetriou D, Sumption M, Terrazas A, Burkert C, Loyal S, Ferrero-Turrión R (2010) Migration and immigrants two years after the financial collapse: where do we stand?. BBC World Service, London
Rabe-Hesketh S, Skrondal A (2008) Multilevel and Longitudinal Modeling Using Stata (Second Edition). Stata Press, Texas
Riva M, Bambra C, Easton S, Curtis S (2011) Hard times or good times? Inequalities in the health effects of economic change. Int J Public Health 56(1):3–5. doi:10.1007/s00038-010-0220-x
Shi Z et al (2011) The use of a surveillance system to measure changes in mental health in Australian adults during the global financial crisis. Int J Public Health 56(4):367–372. doi:10.1007/s00038-010-0200-1
Sousa E et al (2010) Immigration, work and health in Spain: the influence of legal status and employment contract on reported health indicators. Int J Public Health 55(5):443–451. doi:10.1007/s00038-010-0141-8
Twisk J (2003) Applied longitudinal data analysis for epidemiology: a practical guide. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Uutela A (2010) Economic crisis and mental health. Curr Opin Psychiatry 23(2):127–130. doi:10.1097/YCO.0b013e328336657d
World Health Organization (WHO): Regional Office for Europe (2011) Impact of economic crises on mental health. World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen
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.
About this article
Cite this article
Agudelo-Suárez, A.A., Ronda, E., Vázquez-Navarrete, M.L. et al. Impact of economic crisis on mental health of migrant workers: what happened with migrants who came to Spain to work?. Int J Public Health 58, 627–631 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-013-0475-0
- Working conditions
- Economic crisis
- Mental health