This study examined the prevalence and social determinants of depression among refugee and non-refugee adults aged 45–85 in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Bivariate analyses and multivariable binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. The prevalence of depression was higher in a sample of 272 refugees (22.1%) and 5059 non-refugee immigrants (16.6%), compared to 24,339 native-born Canadians (15.2%). The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of depression for refugees were not attenuated when controlling factors such as, (1) socioeconomic status, (2) health conditions and behaviours, (3) social isolation and online social networking (aORs range from 1.61 to 1.70, p’s < 0.05). However, when social support representing close personal relationships was included, the odds of depression for refugees were reduced to non-significance (aOR = 1.30, 95% CI 0.97–1.74, p = 0.08). Refugees’ excess vulnerability to depression is mainly attributable to lower levels of affectionate social support. Targeted interventions in nurturing supportive interpersonal relationships for refugees are warranted.
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This research was made possible using the data collected by the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). Funding for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) under Grant Reference LSA 94473 and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. This research has been conducted using the CLSA Baseline Comprehensive Dataset version 4.0, under Application ID 170605. The CLSA is led by Drs. Parminder Raina, Christina Wolfson and Susan Kirkland. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are the authors’ own and do not reflect the views of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Shen (Lamson) Lin appreciates the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers’ 3rd Annual Student and Trainee Award for best student research abstract at the North American Refugee Health Conference (NARHC) 2019. Esme Fuller-Thomson also wishes to gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Sandra Rotman endowed chair and Karen Davison is thankful for the assistance of the Fulbright Canada scholarship.
The opinions expressed in this manuscript are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.
Part of this study was funded through EFT’s Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair Funds and KMD’s Fulbright Canada Scholarship.
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Lin, S., Kobayashi, K., Tong, H. et al. Close Relations Matter: The Association Between Depression and Refugee Status in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). J Immigrant Minority Health 22, 946–956 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-020-00980-0