The Impact of Spousal Migration on the Mental Health of Nepali Women: A Cross-Sectional Study

Nirmal Aryal, Pramod R. Regmi, Edwin van Teijlingen, Steven Trenoweth, Pratik Adhikary, Padam Simkhada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Spousal separation, lack of companionship, and increased household responsibilities may trigger mental health problems in left-behind female spouses of migrant workers. This study aimed to examine mental ill-health risk in the left-behind female spouses of international migrant workers in Nepal. A cross-sectional survey was carried out in the Nawalparasi district. Study areas were purposively chosen; however, participants were randomly selected. Nepali versions of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) were used. Mental ill-health risk was prevalent in 3.1% of the participants as determined by GHQ. BDI identified mild or moderate depression in 6.5% of the participants with no one having severe depression. In bivariate analysis, a high frequency of communication with the husband was associated with lower mental ill-health risk and depression, as well as increasing resilience. Reduced return intervals of husbands and a high frequency of remittance were also associated with a low GHQ score. In a multiple regression model, adjusting for potential confounding variables, participants who communicated with their husbands at least once a day had a greater mean CD-RISC score (i.e., high resilience against mental ill-health risk) compared to those who did so at least once a week; a mean difference of 3.6 (95% CI 0.4 to 6.9), P = 0.03. To conclude, a low mental ill-health risk was found in the female spouses of migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1292
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Impact of Spousal Migration on the Mental Health of Nepali Women: A Cross-Sectional Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this