Published Papers - Abstract 102

Thompson S, Manderson L, Woelz-Stirling & Kelaher M. The social and cultural context of the mental health of Filipino women in Queensland. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2002; 36(5): 681-687

Objective: To illicit the meaning and experience of mental health and illness and the social and cultural context of risk in Filipino women living in Queensland, Australia.Method: 139 in-depth interviews and 7 focus group discussions (FGDs) were nested within the baseline survey of the Filipino cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Seventy-four in-depth interviews and 8 FGDs were conducted at follow-up. A semi-structured interview guide that included sections on emotional health, social support and changes guided these. A subset of responses was fully transcribed and analysed for ethnographic content and themes.Results: “Mental” problems are highly stigmatised, in comparison to “emotional” problems that are believed to result largely from the absence of close family ties. The loss of these ties and the transition from a collectivist to individualistic society are key themes related to emotional distress in Filipinas.Conclusions: This understanding of meaning and context of mental health and its risk factors in migrants is important for informing public health and clinical practice and the improvement of quantitative research instruments.