Relationship between working conditions and mental health of migrants and refugees/asylum seekers vs. natives in Europe: a systematic review

Herold R, Lieb M, Borho A, Voss A, Unverzagt S, Morawa E, Erim Y (2023)


Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2023

Journal

Book Volume: 96

Pages Range: 931-963

Journal Issue: 7

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-023-01981-w

Abstract

Objective: Migrants and refugees/asylum seekers make up a significant proportion of the European workforce. They often suffer from poor working conditions, which might impact mental health. The main objective of this systematic review was to summarize and analyze existing research on working conditions of migrants and refugees/asylum seekers in European host countries and compare them to those of natives. Furthermore, the relationship between working conditions and mental health of migrants/refugees/asylum seekers and natives will be compared. Methods: Three electronic databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, PsycInfo and CINAHL) were systematically searched for eligible articles using quantitative study designs written in English, German, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish or Turkish and published from January 1, 2016 to October 27, 2022. Primary health outcomes were diagnosed psychiatric and psychological disorders, suicide (attempts), psychiatric and psychological symptoms, and perceived distress. Secondary health outcomes were more general concepts of mental health such as well-being, life satisfaction and quality of life. Screening, data extraction and the methodological quality assessment of primary studies by using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale were done independently by two reviewers. The results of the primary studies were summarized descriptively. Migrants and refugees/asylum seekers were compared with natives in terms of the association between working conditions and mental health. Results: Migrants and refugees often face disadvantages at work concerning organizational (low-skilled work, overqualification, fixed-term contracts, shift work, lower reward levels) and social conditions (discrimination experiences) in contrast to natives. Most unfavorable working conditions are associated with worse mental health for migrants as well as for natives. Conclusions: Even if the results are to be taken with caution, it is necessary to control and improve the working conditions of migrants and refugees/asylum seekers and adapt them to those of the native population to maintain their mental health and thus their labor force.

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How to cite

APA:

Herold, R., Lieb, M., Borho, A., Voss, A., Unverzagt, S., Morawa, E., & Erim, Y. (2023). Relationship between working conditions and mental health of migrants and refugees/asylum seekers vs. natives in Europe: a systematic review. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 96(7), 931-963. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00420-023-01981-w

MLA:

Herold, Regina, et al. "Relationship between working conditions and mental health of migrants and refugees/asylum seekers vs. natives in Europe: a systematic review." International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 96.7 (2023): 931-963.

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