Introduction Migrants mental health is an issue of concern worldwide. We aimed to review studies on prevalence rates of depression and/or anxiety among refugees and labour migrants; to evaluate associations between the Gross National Product (GNP) of the immigration country and depression and anxiety.
Methods Systematic literature for population based studies reporting prevalence rates of depression and/or anxiety according to DSM- or ICD- criteria; and calculation of combined estimates with the Dersimonian-Laird estimator for proportions with the respective CI.
Results 348 records; with 37 on 35 populations meeting the inclusion criteria. 35 studies were included in the final analysis. Combined prevalence rates for depression among labour migrants were 20% (95% CI 14% to 26%) vs 44% (95% CI 27% to 62%) among refugees; for anxiety among labour migrants 21% (95% CI 14% to 29%) vs 40% among (95% CI 23% to 49%) (n=24 051). Higher GNP in the country of immigration was related to lower symptom prevalence of depression and/or anxiety in labour migrants; but not in refugees.
Conclusion Depression and/or anxiety in labour migrants and refuges needs to be considered separately. The GNP of the host country appears to be related to better mental health in labour migrants but not in refugees.
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