Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health of Refugees, Immigrants, and Asylum-Seekers: A Systematic Review

Sevim F., Kıran Ş., Yeşildağ A. Y., Yılmaz G.

PSYCHIATRY AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, vol.13, no.2, pp.27-37, 2023 (ESCI) identifier


It is a known fact that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affects the mental health of individuals, and it seems that there are many studies on this subject. This review aimed to synthesize the evidence from studies on the mental health problems of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Six databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, WHO Global Health Research) were systematically searched to identify studies. The search was performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. The protocol for this systematic review was registered with PROSPERO (protocolID: CRD42021231244). Data were extracted from a total of 14 studies. Results: Results predominantly highlighted that the studies reported anxiety, depression, stress and fear, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the percentages of 78.57%, 57.14%, 42.85%, and 28.57%, respectively. In addition, personality and adjustment disorders, bipolar disorder, COVID-19-related discrimination, loneliness, frustration, irritability, and sleep problems were also reported to a lesser extent. Limitations: A significant degree of heterogeneity was noted across studies. Conclusion: The results show that the COVID-19 problem, which negatively affects mental health of the general population also affected refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers. Research indicates that these problems arise from indirect situations such as unemployment or loss of income during the isolation and quarantine process, inability to access health services, barriers to communication or misinformation, exposure to ethnic discrimination, and direct effects such as illness and death.