Our knowledge of the immigrant patient's experiences and reflections regarding consultations in primary health care where interpreters are used is limited. Thus, the primary aim was to explore these experiences and reflections. The second aim was to study whether demographic and migration-related factors are associated with the patient's satisfaction with the consultation and feeling of consolation given by the general practitioner (GP). The third aim was to analyse whether these feelings are related to the time from the booking to the consultation, to self-reported health, symptoms and the patient's experiences. A questionnaire was distributed to 78 consecutive immigrant patients from Chile, Iran and Turkey at 12 primary healthcare centres around Stockholm. The respondents were asked about their background and health status, while open-ended questions focused on their experiences and comments regarding the consultation and cross-cultural communication in general. Ethical approval was obtained. The respondents consisted of 52 patients, 16 from Chile, nine from Iran and 27 from Turkey. Most of the answers concerned communication problems because of language and cultural differences between the GP and the patient and the GP's ability to listen. Therefore, the importance of having a competent interpreter for a satisfactory consultation was stressed. Many of the respondents also felt that the GP's ability to listen to them and understand them is crucial in the consultation. Background facts, including demographic and migration-related factors, health status and factors related to the consultation, did not seem to be associated with the patient's satisfaction and the feeling of consolation. One limitation is that the sample is small and not equally distributed. The use of authorized interpreters during the consultation is essential. The consultation must be based on a patient-centred strategy and adjusted to the patient's educational level. Cultural competence is needed when meeting immigrant patients.
Although immigrants generally have poorer health and higher psychological distress than the native population, information on Kurdish immigrants' psychological well-being is limited. The aims of the study were to examine the association between ethnicity and poor psychological well-being, and to assess the relationships between socio-demographic characteristics, self-reported health, somatic pain, gastrointestinal complaints and poor psychological well-being. Methods: Immigrants with self-reported Kurdish ethnicity (men, n=111; women, n=86) in Sweden from the national sample of immigrants aged 27-60 and 1407 Swedes (1996) were studied. Unconditional logistic regression was performed using the Stata Software program. In the logistic model adjusted for age, sex, employment and self-reported health, the odds ratio for Kurdish-born subjects for having poor psychological well-being is twice as high as for Swedish-born subjects. Subjects with poor self-reported health had more than a threefold higher odds ratio for having poor psychological well-being compared with those with good self-reported health. Furthermore, being female, having somatic pain and recurrent gastrointestinal complaints regardless of ethnicity increased the odds for having poor psychological well-being. Being Kurdish-born and/or reporting poor health in addition to age, female gender, somatic pain and recurrent gastrointestinal complaints is significantly and independently related to poor psychological well-being even when adjusted for all confounders.
This study explores the association between ethnicity and poor self-reported health and psychological distress, sleeping difficulties, and use of psychotropic drugs among immigrant Kurdish men and native Swedish men, based on data from the first Swedish National Survey of Immigrants and the Swedish Level-of-Living Surveys collected in 1996 by Statistics Sweden. The age-adjusted odds of poor self-reported health and sleeping difficulties among Kurdish men was about 3.5 times higher than among Swedish men. The odds ratio decreased to 2.1 and 2.7 respectively in a model adjusted for age and the other explanatory variables. Yearning for the home country, perceived discrimination and unemployment in the host country seem to be possible explanations for the higher levels of distress among Kurdish immigrants to Sweden.
AIMS: To analyse whether there is an association between sex and poor self-reported health (SRH) and psychological distress in Kurdish immigrants. METHODS: This cross-sectional study is based on a sample consisting of immigrants, aged 27- 60 years, with self-reported Kurdish ethnicity (n=111, men; n=86, women) in Sweden originating from Iran and Turkey. It is based on data collected in 1996 from the first Swedish National Survey on the living conditions of immigrant groups conducted by Statistics Sweden. The prevalences of reporting poor health, sleeping difficulties, general fatigue and anxiety were estimated by sex. The association between sex and SRH and psychological distress was analysed by an unconditional logistic regression model estimating odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals. The final model was adjusted for age, marital status, education, housing and employment. Immigrant-specific migration-related variables were used to explore possible reasons for the sex differences. RESULTS: Kurdish men and women had a high prevalence of poor SRH and psychological distress. Age-adjusted odds ratios for anxiety were higher in Kurdish women. Sex differences in anxiety remained even when marital status, education, housing and employment were taken into account. CONCLUSIONS: Kurdish men and women report a high prevalence of poor SRH and indicators of psychological distress. Women had a higher risk for anxiety than men. Negative experiences of pre-migration as well as post-migration experiences, such as economic difficulties, preoccupation with the political situation in the home country, perceived discrimination, and feelings of poor control over one's life, were associated with the outcomes.