Serious psychological distress: A national study of Middle Eastern immigrants.
- Author(s): Alkaid Albqoor, Maha;
- Chen, Jyu-Lin;
- Weiss, Sandra;
- Waters, Catherine;
- Choi, Ji-Won
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpm.12646
WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: There is very limited literature on the health of Middle Eastern immigrants in the United States, and the available studies were mostly conducted on small convenient samples in local communities. There is also a need to understand changes in the rates of serious psychological distress (SPD) during the 15 years after 2001, as there were negative effects on Arabs' health since the September 2001 aftermath. WHAT DOES THIS PAPER ADD TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: The study examined the rates of SPD, the risk of SPD and its associated factors in a national sample of Middle Eastern immigrants in the United States from 2001 to 2015. The study found that serious psychological distress rate was high among Middle Eastern immigrants. Being a female and having obesity were associated with a higher risk of reporting serious psychological distress among this population. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: These outcomes necessitate mental health nursing interventions that provide culturally sensitive mental health care to immigrants For example, developing community-based prevention programmes is required to address risk factors of psychological distress and to increase awareness about psychological distress among Middle Eastern immigrants. ABSTRACT: Introduction While Middle Eastern immigrants are a fast-growing population in the United States, there is very limited literature on their mental health. Most of the available studies were conducted on small convenient samples in local communities. Aims To examine rates of serious psychological distress (SPD) and its associated factors among Middle Eastern immigrants in the United States, compared with US-born, non-Hispanic Whites. Methods Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2001 to 2015 were analysed. The survey included 1,246 Middle Eastern immigrants and 232,392 US-born, non-Hispanic Whites. SPD was measured by the Kessler-6 psychological distress scale. Survey analysis procedures, sampling weights and variance estimates were conducted. Descriptive statistics and regression analyses were employed to examine differences and factors associated with SPD. Results SPD rate was the highest among Middle Eastern immigrants (5.99%) between 2006 and 2010. Among Middle Eastern immigrants, being female and obese were significantly associated with a higher risk of SPD. Discussion Middle Eastern immigrants in the United States suffered high rates of SPD. Gender and obesity were factors associated with SPD risk. Implications These outcomes indicate the need for mental health nursing interventions that provide culturally sensitive mental health care to immigrants, such as developing community-based prevention programmes.