PURPOSE: The stressful migration process has been associated with higher vulnerability for mental health problems, implying a greater need for mental healthcare among immigrants compared with native-born. Our objective was to investigate whether potential differences in the use of psychiatrists and psychologists in labour immigrants, immigrants from refugee-generating countries (RGC), and ethnic Danes could be fully explained by mental health status. METHODS: We conducted a nationwide survey in 2007 with 3,573 individuals aged 18-66 comprising ethnic Danes, labour immigrants (Pakistan and Turkey), and immigrants from RGC (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Somalia). Survey data was linked to healthcare utilisation registries. Using Poisson regression, contacts with private practising psychiatrists and psychologists were estimated. Analyses were adjusted for socioeconomic factors and mental health status. RESULTS: Overall, 2.2 % among ethnic Danes, 1.4 % among labour immigrants and 6.5 % among immigrants from RGC consulted a psychiatrist or psychologist. In adjusted analyses, for psychiatrists, compared with ethnic Danes, labour-immigrant women (multiplicative effect = 1.78), and immigrant women from RGC (multiplicative effect = 2.49) had increased use, while labour-immigrant men had decreased use (multiplicative effect = 0.03). For psychologists, immigrant men from RGC had increased use (multiplicative effect = 2.96), while labour-immigrant women had decreased use (multiplicative effect = 0.27) compared with ethnic Danes. CONCLUSIONS: Mental health status had a somewhat explanatory effect on the use of psychiatrists and psychologists. These selected parts of the Danish mental healthcare system seem responsive to health needs across different population groups, particularly for immigrants from RGC. Yet more attention should be given to non-Western labour immigrants to meet their mental health needs.
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2015, Vol 50, Issue 1, p. 67-76
The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences; Mental Health; Mental Health Services; psychologist; psychiatrist; utilization; healthcare use; immigrants; refugees; labour migrants; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't