Migration and mental health in low-and middle-income countries

Added October 15, 2021

Citation: Meyer SR, Lasater M, Tol WA. Migration and mental health in low-and middle-income countries: a systematic review. Psychiatry. 2017;80(4):374-81.

Language: Abstract available in EN. Full text available in EN.

Free to view: Yes.

Funding sources:  The authors reported that the review received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sector.

What is this? Migration may have an impact on mental health, particularly in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies of the association between migration and mental health disorders among migrants aged ≥18 years in LMICs. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did the most recent search in March 2016. They included 37 studies that were conducted in Brazil (3 studies), China (27), India (1), Indonesia (1), Kazakhstan (1), Malaysia (1), Peru (2) and Thailand (1).

What was found: The evidence base concerning migration, resilience among migrants and mental health in LMICs is very limited.

Low social support is associated with poor mental health.

Discrimination is a risk factor for poor mental health outcomes.

Implications: The authors suggested that further research should focus on improving the measurement of health outcomes and diversifying the region of study because most of the included studies were conducted in China which doesn’t portray an accurate representation of the association between migration and mental health in LMICs.

Other considerations: The authors of the review discuss their findings in the context of place of residence.


This summary was prepared by Ana Pizarro, edited by Firas Khalid and Jiewon Lim, and finalized by Mike Clarke.

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