Exploring the associated factors of elevated psychological distress in a community residing sample of Australian Chinese migrants

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Abstract

Objective:

Chinese migrants have a low utilisation of mental health services but a high proportion of involuntary admissions to mental health services in Australia. This study aims to screen for psychological distress among Australian Chinese migrants and to understand the potential correlates that contribute to elevated psychological distress in this population.

Method:

Chinese migrants were recruited through several social websites to complete an online health survey. A total of 414 participants (female 55%; male 45%) aged 14–63 years completed a Kessler 6-item scale and a questionnaire that collected information on demographics as well as health-related behaviours and perceptions. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the associations between demographic, health-related factors and moderate to high level of psychological distress.

Results:

The findings indicated that Chinese migrants, who are young, single, currently studying, and have stayed in Australia less than 5 years, tended to report significantly higher levels of psychological distress. This study also revealed that the participants' level of satisfaction of primary health services is associated with psychological distress (odds ratio: 0.34; 95% confidence interval: 0.17–0.66).

Conclusions:

This exploratory study adds important information about the prevalence and correlates of psychological distress among Australian Chinese migrants. Intervention programmes tailored to improve migrants' level of satisfaction of the Australian primary health-care services may contribute to the mental health well-being of Chinese migrants in Australia.

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