Gaps in understanding of the epidemiology of mood and anxiety disorders among migrant groups in Canada: A systematic review.

September 01, 2019 By:
  • Edwards J
  • Hu M
  • Thind A
  • Stranges S
  • Chiu M
  • Anderson KK.

OBJECTIVE: Estimates of mood and anxiety disorders are highly variable among migrant groups, as they are influenced by the socio-political context. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize available Canadian evidence on the prevalence and incidence of mood and anxiety disorders among migrant groups. METHODS: Studies were identified from MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO. They were included if they used population-based samples, presented data on the incidence or prevalence of diagnosed or self-reported mood or anxiety disorders for first-generation migrant groups in Canada, and used a Canadian-born or long-term resident reference group. RESULTS: Nineteen studies met our inclusion criteria. Prevalence ratios ranged from 0.48 to 0.87, and nearly all estimates were obtained from population health surveys. Prevalence estimates among migrant groups were lower than the reference group, with the 90th percentile of estimates ranging from 1.5% to 8.2%. Risk factors for mood and anxiety disorders among migrants included being female, younger, unemployed, having lower income, and living in neighborhoods with a lower proportion of migrants. CONCLUSIONS: There remain many gaps in our current understanding of mood and anxiety disorders among migrant groups in Canada. Although evidence suggests the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders are consistently lower among migrant groups, a lack of incidence estimates limits the strength of this conclusion. Future research should focus on comparisons of self-reported and diagnosed estimates, the use of a range of different primary or secondary data sources, and consideration of important risk factors. PROSPERO CITATION: Jordan Edwards, Malini Hu, Amardeep Thind, Saverio Stranges, Maria Chiu, Kelly Anderson. The burden of mood and anxiety disorders among immigrant and refugee populations in Canada: a systematic review. PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018087869 Available from: .

2019 Sep. Can J Psychiatry.64(9):595-606. Epub 2019 May 26.
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