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Gac Sanit. 2009 Dec;23 Suppl 1:29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2009.07.005. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

[Relationship between migrant status and social support and quality of life in Moroccans in the Basque Country (Spain)].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Enfermería I, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea UPV/EHU, Bilbao, España.



To analyze the effect of birth place, migrant status and the modulatory role of social support on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and the presence of anxiety/depression symptoms.


We performed a cross-sectional study of three samples composed of 2,776 persons: 1,239 Moroccans in Morocco, 149 Moroccans in the Basque Country (Spain) and 1,388 autochthonous individuals. HRQoL and the presence of anxiety/depression symptoms were evaluated using the Short-Form-36 (SF-36) and the Mental Health Inventory-5 (MHI-5). Social support was evaluated with the Duke scale. Multivariate analyses were performed with dichotomic logistic regression (SPSS 16).


Immigrant status, compared with living in Morocco, was a protective factor in practically all SF-36 dimensions but was also a risk factor for the development of anxiety/depression symptoms. Differences in HRQoL between Moroccans and the autochthonous population in the Basque Country were attenuated when variables of social support were included in the multivariate models. Low social support and dissatisfaction with social life increased the risk of low HRQoL scores and the presence of anxiety/depression symptoms among Moroccans in the Basque Country.


Some health indicators are more favorable in Moroccans in the Basque Country than in those living in Morocco, but the frequency of anxiety/depression is higher in Moroccan immigrants. The key factor to understanding social inequalities in health among Moroccan immigrants is social support. Strategies to maintain optimal health in these immigrant collectives should include public policies of social inclusion.

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