A systematic review of factors affecting migrant attitudes towards seeking psychological help

Mhairi Selkirk*, Ethel Quayle, Neil Rothwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Research indicates that service utilization rates in migrant groups are low, although levels of distress appear high when compared with host populations. This paper systematically reviews quantitative and qualitative literature on factors associated with attitudes toward seeking psychological help among working age migrants. Data were extracted from MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Science Direct and SAGE databases. Eight quantitative studies and 16 qualitative studies met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The majority of studies were conducted in North America (67%). Although results of quantitative studies were heterogeneous, stronger identification with host than heritage culture, fluency in host country language, psychological attributions of distress, higher educational levels, higher socioeconomic status, female gender, and older age were associated with more favourable attitudes toward help-seeking in some migrant groups. Three major themes emerged from the qualitative literature: logistical barriers, cultural mismatch between service providers and participants, and preferences for other sources of assistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-127
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Attitudes
  • Help- seeking
  • Immigrant
  • Psychological


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