The purpose of this study was to analyze health in relation to unemployment and sick leave among immigrants from a gender perspective. Questionnaire, observations, and group discussions were used for data collection. The study group consisted of 60 unemployed persons with immigrant or refugee background, 30 women and 30 men. Slightly more than half of the participants considered their health to be poor and experienced physical and/or mental disorders. The female participants in comparison to male participants experienced poorer health. The results show that there is a reciprocal influence between health, work, and migration. Immigration may cause poor health, which as a selection effect leads to unemployment and/or sick leave. Immigration may also bring about an inferior position in the labor market, which leads to poor health due to exposure effects. The influence on health is more marked for immigrant women than for immigrant men.
In April 1975, the mass vaccination of newborns against tuberculosis was replaced by selective vaccination of groups at risk. BCG coverage fell from more than 95% before 1974 to 1.8% between 1975 and 1982 and thereafter reached an average of 13.7% up to 1989. The cumulative incidence of tuberculosis before 5 years of age was estimated among children born in Sweden during periods of high, low and moderate increasing BCG coverage. The incidence figures per 100,000 children was 0.8, 3.9 and 2.9, respectively, for children born to Swedish parents and 2.6, 39.4 and 13.2, respectively, for those born to foreign parents. The observed incidence of tuberculosis among non-BCG vaccinated children born to Swedish parents was within the expected limits given by a prognostic model based on the natural change of the risk of infection. The effectiveness of the selective BCG vaccination programme, which was intensified after 1981 for the second generation of immigrants, was estimated to 0.82 (95% confidence interval 0.38, 0.95) assuming that there was no change of the risk of infection for children born to foreign parents over the period studied. From April 1975 to December 1989, tuberculosis was notified in 85 children born in Sweden during the same period, 7 of them were BCG vaccinated and 78 non-vaccinated, 45 were symptomatic, 3 of them with disseminated tuberculosis.
In order to evaluate the results of routine screening for intestinal parasites, the medical records of 4592 refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the Stockholm area from January 1987 to December 1988 were reviewed. 3938/4592 (86%) delivered stool specimens for examination and intestinal parasites were demonstrated in 651/3938 (17%). Protozoa, mainly Giardia intestinalis, were found in 403/3938 (10%) and helminths, mainly nematodes, in 277/3938 (7%). Intestinal parasites were most frequently recovered in subjects coming from the Indian subcontinent/Southeast Asia and Africa (infection rates 39% and 25%, respectively). Extensive variations in the prevalence of intestinal parasite infection in various ethnic groups (range 4%-39%) were largely attributable to variations in prevalence of helminthic infections (range 2%-34%). Origin from the tropics or subtropics as well as low age, male sex, rural region of domicile before/during exile and short length of stay in Sweden were related to intestinal parasitic infection. Lack of data on morbidity in untreated asymptomatic carriers, limited risks for transmission of the recovered parasites in Sweden as well as the expenses for screening indicate a need for reconsideration of the present praxis of mass screening in favour of a selective screening of high-risk groups based on country of origin and age.
Today, nurses from many disciplines are expected to provide nursing care to refugees severely traumatized in war and conflict. The general aim of this study was to explore the long-term impact of torture on the mental health of war-wounded refugees. The study group consisted of 22 tortured and 22 nontortured male refugees who had been injured in war. Standardized interview schedules, exploring different background characteristics, and three instruments for assessment of mental health were used: the Hopkins Symptom Checklist, the Post Traumatic Symptom Scale and a well-being scale. The prevalence of psychiatric symptoms was high in both groups. However, there were no significant differences in mental health between the tortured and the nontortured refugees. The patterns of associations between background characteristics and mental health were different in the two groups. The strongest associations with lower level of mental health were higher education in the tortured group and unemployment in the nontortured group. Methodological difficulties in research on sequelae of prolonged traumatization remain. Further studies within the caring sciences can broaden the present understanding of the impact of torture and other war traumas.
We have studied asthma and allergic rhinitis prevalence in Swedish conscripts born 1973-1977 according to the military service conscription register in relation to the socio-economic status and country of birth of the conscripts and their parents, and age when granted residency in Sweden. There was an increase in prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis over time in all groups irrespective of country of birth or ethnic origin. Conscripts who themselves were born in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean had a significantly lower risk for asthma and allergic rhinitis than Swedish-born conscripts. The risk of atopic disorder among the foreign-born conscripts increased with time of residency in Sweden. Conscripts with mothers from Latin America, Asia and Africa were identified as having the highest risk for atopic disorder among Swedish-born conscripts with high socio-economic status; the adjusted risk ratio (RR) for asthma was 2.6 (95% CI 1.7-4.0) and that for allergic rhinitis was 2.0 (1.5-2.6). The conscripts with mothers from the Mediterranean had the lowest risk for atopic disorders of the Swedish-born conscripts with low socio-economic status; the RR for asthma was 0.43 (0.34-0.56) and that for allergic rhinitis was 0.84 (0.76-0.93). This study demonstrates that factors related to migration and ethnicity are important determinants of atopic disorder among Swedish conscripts.
The study comprises 149 refugees from various countries, reporting exposure to severe traumata, who were referred for psychiatric diagnosis and assessment of suicide risk. The stressors reported comprised both personal experience of and/or forced witnessing of combat atrocities (including explosions or missile impacts in urban areas), imprisonment (including isolation), torture and inflicted pain, sexual violence, witnessing others' suicide, and of summary and/or mock executions. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was diagnosed in 79% of all cases, other psychiatric illness in 16% and no mental pathology in 5%. The prevalence of suicidal behavior was significantly greater among refugees with principal PTSD diagnoses than among the remainder. PTSD patients with depression comorbidity reported higher frequency of suicidal thoughts; PTSD nondepressive patients manifested increased frequency of suicide attempts.
The study reports on 65 refugees with diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and manifest suicidal behavior (40% had suicide attempts; 29% detailed suicide plan; 31% recurrent suicidal thoughts). Our hypothesis was that the predominant kind of stressful experience in PTSD patients might be reflected in their choice of method when pondering or attempting suicide. Relationships were found to exist between the main stressors and the respective subjects' preference for suicide method. Particularly among PTSD patients with a history of torture, an association was found between the torture methods that the victim had been exposed to, and the suicide method used in ideation or attempts. Blunt force applied to the head and body was associated with jumping from a height or in front of trains, water torture with drowning, or sharp force torture with methods involving self-inflicted stabbing or cutting. Relationships between main stressors and content of suicidal ideation are discussed.
Among 1002 foreign students examined in Odessa 11 subjects with antibody to HIV, i.e. infected with HIV, were detected. A complete agreement of the results of the enzyme immunoassay and immune blotting test was observed. The reasons of this are discussed. A specific regional distribution of seropositive subjects by their permanent residence places was revealed.
Amongst psychiatric patients, the leading causes of reduced quality of life and premature death are chronic viral infections and cardiovascular diseases. In spite of this, there are extremely high levels of disparity in somatic healthcare amongst such populations. Little research has explored patterns of healthcare utilisation and, therefore, this study aims to examine the use of somatic specialist healthcare for infectious diseases and diseases of circulatory system among psychiatric patients from different immigrant groups and ethnic Norwegians.
Register data from the Norwegian Patient Registry and Statistics Norway were used. The sample (ages 0-90+) consisted of 276,890 native-born Norwegians and 52,473 immigrants from five world regions - Western countries, East Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, all of whom had contacts with specialist mental healthcare during the period 2008-2011. Statistical analyses were applied using logistic regression models.
Rates of outpatient consultation for circulatory system diseases were significantly lower amongst patients from Africa, Asia and Latin America compared with ethnic Norwegian psychiatric patients. Only patients from Eastern Europeans had a higher rate. With regard to hospital admission, all psychiatric patients had a lower rate than ethnic Norwegians with the exception of those from Africa where the finding was non-significant. In terms of infectious diseases, patients from African countries had significantly higher outpatient and admission rates than ethnic Norwegians. Outpatient consultation rates were lower amongst those from Western and Latin America and hospital admission rates were lower amongst those from Eastern Europe and Asia.
The findings suggest that the majority of immigrant psychiatric patients have lower hospitalization rates for circulatory system diseases than Norwegian psychiatric patients. This may suggest that poor access for immigrants is a contributing factor, though the findings were less pronounced for infectious diseases.