top of page
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute

Journal of Health and Medical Sciences

ISSN 2622-7258

Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 1.24.09 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 1.24.02 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 1.23.57 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 1.23.52 AM.png
open access

Published: 27 January 2020

Anxiety and Depression Among Migrant Workers of Bangladesh Presenting with Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Madhusudan Saha, Md Abdullah Al Mamun, Siddhartha Paul, Irin Perveen, Bimal Chandra Shil, Habib Ullah Abir, Imteaz Mahbub, Rupam Sengupta

North East Medical College, Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, Enam Medical College, Sir Salimullah Medical College

journal of social and political sciences
pdf download

Download Full-Text Pdf



Pages: 33-40

Keywords: Anxiety and Depression, Migrant Workers, Gastrointestinal Symptoms


Introduction: This study was designed to see prevalence of anxiety and depression among migrant workers presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms. Material and method: Consecutive subjects working in middle-east countries attending at gastroenterology outpatient department were included. Psychiatric assessment of them was done using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) by trained interviewer under supervision of a senior psychiatrist. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS 20. Chi square test was done to see differences. Result: Total 426 patients, age from 18 years to 61 years (mean 36.96), 364 (85.44% from rural community, 353 (78.64%) married, and 390 (91.54%) working as laborer were included. Among them 66 (15.5%) and 45 (10.6%) had symptoms score consistent with anxiety and depression respectively. Anxiety was more prevalent among workers with lower level of education, higher age, shorter duration of migration and single marital status. Depression was more prevalent among married people, of lower educational and economic background and of older age. Abdominal pain, anorexia, loose motion, abdominal fullness, weight loss, constipation and incomplete bowel evacuation are common presenting symptoms. Conclusion: Anxiety and depression are common among Bangladeshi migrant workers in middle-eastern countries. Level of education, marital status, economic background and older age affect mental health. Depression was associated with higher numbers of physical complaints. Migrant workers are playing a vital role in our economy. So, issues of their mental health and psychiatric morbidity which might adversely affect their overall activity and foreign remittance, should not be neglected.


  1. ADB briefs No 63, Aug 2016
  2. Al-Maskari F, Shah S.M., Al- Sharhan R., Al-Haj E.,Al-Kaabi k.,Khonji D.,Schneider J.D.,Nagelkerke N.J.,Bernsen R.M.,2001.Prevalence of Depression and suicidal behavior among male migrant workers in United Arab Emirates. J Immigrant Minority Health DOI 10.1007/S10903-011-9470-9
  3. Anbesse, B., Hanlon, C., Alem, A., Packer, S. and Whitley, R., 2009. Migration and mental health: a study of low-income Ethiopian women working in Middle Eastern countries. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 55(6), pp.557-568.
  4. Bhattarai, P., 2005. Migration of Nepalese youth for foreign employment: Problems and prospects. Report, Youth Action Nepal, Katmandu.
  5. Bhugra, D., 2004. Migration and mental health. Acta psychiatrica scandinavica, 109(4), pp.243-258.
  6. Bhugra, D. and Becker, M.A., 2005. Migration, cultural bereavement and cultural identity. World psychiatry, 4(1), p.18.
  7. Bhugra, D. and Gupta, S. eds., 2010. Migration and mental health. Cambridge University Press.
  8. Bhui, K., Stansfeld, S., McKenzie, K., Karlsen, S., Nazroo, J. and Weich, S., 2005. Racial/ethnic discrimination and common mental disorders among workers: findings from the EMPIRIC Study of Ethnic Minority Groups in the United Kingdom. American journal of public health, 95(3), pp.496-501.
  9. BMET database, July 2015 ,Overseas employment of Bangladesh Workers from 1976 to 2015
  10. Castles, S., 2000. International migration at the beginning of the twenty‐first century: global trends and issues. International Social Science Journal, 52(165), pp.269-281.
  11. Chapagai, M., Pant, S.B., Tulachan, P. and Dhungana, S., 2017. Psychiatric morbidity among repatriated Nepalese foreign labor migrants-a hospital based study. Journal of Institute of Medicine, 41(1).
  12. El-Hilu, S.M., Mousa, R., Abdulmalek, H., Kamel, N., Zohdi, M., Maher, A. and Al-Aamriti, M., 1990. Psychiatric morbidity among foreign housemaids in Kuwait. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 36(4), pp.291-299.
  13. Gaudel, Y.S., 2006. Remittance income in Nepal: Need for economic development. Journal of Nepalese Business Studies, 3(1), pp.9-17.
  14. Ghent, A., 2008. Overcoming migrants' barriers to health. World Health Organization. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 86(8), p.583.
  15. Habtamu, K., Minaye, A. and Zeleke, W.A., 2017. Prevalence and associated factors of common mental disorders among Ethiopian migrant returnees from the Middle East and South Africa. BMC psychiatry, 17(1), p.144.
  16. Joshi, S., Simkhada, P. and Prescott, G.J., 2011. Health problems of Nepalese migrants working in three Gulf countries. BMC International Health and human rights, 11(1), p.3.
  17. Kirmayer, L.J., Narasiah, L., Munoz, M., Rashid, M., Ryder, A.G., Guzder, J., Hassan, G., Rousseau, C. and Pottie, K., 2011. Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees: general approach in primary care. Cmaj, 183(12), pp.E959-E967.
  18. Mussell, M., Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R.L., Williams, J.B., Herzog, W. and Löwe, B., 2008. Gastrointestinal symptoms in primary care: prevalence and association with depression and anxiety. Journal of psychosomatic research, 64(6), pp.605-612.
  19. Shyangwa, P.M., Lamichhane, N., Shakya, R., Shakya, D.R. and Sapkota, N., 2009. Psychiatric morbidity in foreign job holders. J Gandaki Medical College. June 2009; 2 (2): 45, 52.
  20. Stillman, S., McKenzie, D. and Gibson, J., 2007. Migration and mental health: Evidence from a natural experiment. The World Bank.
  21. Warfa, N., Bhui, K., Craig, T., Curtis, S., Mohamud, S., Stansfeld, S., McCrone, P. and Thornicroft, G., 2006. Post-migration geographical mobility, mental health and health service utilisation among Somali refugees in the UK: a qualitative study. Health & place, 12(4), pp.503-515.
  22. Zahid, M.A., Fido, A.A., Razik, M.A., Mohsen, M.A.M. and El-Sayed, A.A., 2004. Psychiatric morbidity among housemaids in Kuwait. Medical Principles and Practice, 13(5), pp.249-254.
  23. Zigmond, A.S. and Snaith, R.P., 1983. The hospital anxiety and depression scale. Acta psychiatrica scandinavica, 67(6), pp.361-370.
bottom of page