Flucht und Migration: Psychische Symptombelastung und Behandlungsoptionen
Migration is increasing worldwide. Individuals with a migrant background show a higher prevalence of mental illness as well as differences in psychiatric symptoms, compared to people without a migrant background. Interactions between sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors as well as psychosocial burdens, cultural background, illness and therapy, have not been investigated sufficiently. Our studies seek a better understanding of these factors. Methods and Results The first study measured
... study measured sociodemographic differences, as well as differences in clinical variables between psychiatric outpatients with and without migration background in a large psychiatric outpatient unit. We found significant sociodemographic and clinical differences. In the second study, we interviewed asylum seekers in selected shelters, assessing their views on their legal situations, asylum procedures, living conditions, supporting and integrative activities, their wishes, and their psychiatric symptom load. 74.6% of asylum-seekers had a high psychiatric symptom load. We showed significant correlations between psychiatric symptoms and housing and legal status, as well as between depressive symptoms and the asylum process, and opportunities for support and integration. The third project investigated diagnoses of mental disorders and treatment frequencies with and without interpreter retrospectively by reviewing archived data of all patients in their first year of applying for asylum in Germany. From this we calculated interpreter costs of 44.99€ (21.00 to 56.82€) per patient over 3 months. Discussion Our results emphasize the relevance of mental health issues among refugees and immigrants. The findings show that these differences should be considered in psychiatric-psychotherapeutic treatment of these patients. A legal framework for regulation of costs for professional interpreters facilitating these therapies is indispensable.