HomeRMSRProjectsResiliency, mental health & socioeconomic living conditions: a questionnaire-based cohort study of refugees

Resiliency, mental health & socioeconomic living conditions: a questionnaire-based cohort study of refugees

Refugees are particularly at risk for mental ill-health, owing to exposure to pre-migratory traumatic events, flight experiences, as well as post-resettlement difficulties. Beyond being causally linked to physical morbidity and mortality, mental ill-health may also be a significant predictor for adverse economic, and social outcomes. Moreover, poor socioeconomic conditions may also aggravate the susceptibility for mental ill-health or even impede recovery. However, the causal pathways and the interaction of risk and protective factors in this bi-directional relationship is poorly understood in the context of refugees resettled in an unfamiliar environment.

The overarching aim of the project is to increase our understanding about the causal links between mental health and socioeconomic living conditions, and increase the knowledge of how different factors influence changes in mental health and social and economic living conditions among refugees.

The project has a cohort design based on both questionnaire and register data. Cross-culturally and linguistically adapted questionnaires in Arabic, Dari, Tigrinya or Somali have been used to collect baseline data among approximately 600 asylums seekers from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia and 1200 newly resettled refugees from Syria. All study participants that have (or will receive) residence permits in Sweden will be followed-up during at least two waves using questionnaires – approximately two to three years apart. Data on health care consumption and socioeconomic living conditions will continuously be retrieved from nation-wide registers.

In this prospective research project targeting working aged refugees in Sweden, individual information about the following aspects is collected: pre-migration potentially traumatic events, depression, anxiety, wellbeing, health related quality of life (HRQoL), post-traumatic stress symptoms, post-resettlement stress, social participation, work-related and socioeconomic factors, health care consumption and resiliency factors such as social support and life-orientation.

Project members:

Fredrik Saboonchi, Professor, Project Leader
Marjan Vaez, Associate Professor
Maria Gottvall PhD, Senior Lecturer
Leah Okenwa-Emegwa, PhD, Senior Lecturer
Elina Scheers Andersson,PhD, Lecturer
Sara Sjölund, PhD, Lecturer
Andreas Malm, PhD Student