Prevalence and severity of depressive symptoms in relation to rural-to-urban migration in India: A cross-sectional study

Hannah Maike Albers*, Sanjay Kinra, K. V. Radha Krishna, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, Hannah Kuper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

6 Citations (Scopus)
260 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Migration is a major life event, which may also be a risk factor for depression. However, little is known regarding the relationship between these phenomena in low and middle income settings. This study explores the frequency and severity of depressive symptoms among rural-to-urban migrants compared to permanent rural and to urban residents in India.

Methods: We assessed 884 subjects; urban non-migrants (n = 159), urban migrants (n = 461) and rural non-migrants (n = 264) in Hyderabad, India, in 2009-2010. The frequency and severity of depressive symptoms was assessed with the validated Telugu version of the Brief Patient Health Questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between the presence of depressive symptoms and migration status while adjusting for gender, age and several sociodemographic and health-related parameters using Stata v.12.

Results: The prevalence of mild to severe depressive symptoms was higher in women (11.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 8.3-14.3%) compared to men (5.8%, 95 % CI 3.7-7.9%). Rural residents reported the highest prevalence of mild to severe depressive symptoms (women: 16.7%, 95 % CI 9.8-23.5%; men: 8.0%, 95 % CI 3.7-12.3%). Among women, the lowest prevalence was reported by migrants (8.2%, 95 % CI 4.6-11.9%). Among men, prevalence was similar in migrants (5.0%, 95 % CI 2.2-7.7%) and urban residents (3.9%, 95 % CI 0-8.3%). Multivariable logistic regression analyses showed no evidence for increased prevalence of mild to severe depressive symptoms among migrants compared to either rural or urban residents.

Conclusions: There was no evidence for an increased prevalence of mild to severe depressive symptoms among rural-urban migrants compared to rural or urban residents.
Original languageEnglish
Article number47
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Psychology
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Common mental disorders
  • Depression
  • Low and middle income countries
  • Mental health
  • Rural-urban migrants

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