The high prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among migrants in Europe is widely reported. Our research aimed to investigate the association between migration status and subsequent labour market marginalisation (LMM) events, i.e., long-term unemployment (LTU), long-term sickness absence (LTSA), and disability pension (DP) among individuals with PTSD, and to elucidate how the sociodemographic factors and the pre-existing health conditions influence such association.
We established a cohort of 36,714 individuals born between 1960 and 1995, living in Sweden during 2004–2009, aged 19 years or above, with PTSD diagnosis during 2006–2009. Migration status, categorized as refugees, non-refugees, second-generation migrants, and Swedish-born with Swedish-born parents (reference group) was considered as exposure and LMM events as outcome. The cohort was followed from 01-Jan-2010 until LMM, death, or end of follow-up (31-Dec-2016). Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by Cox regression with a seven-year follow-up.
Refugees (HR 2.07, 95% CI 1.86–2.30), and non-refugees (HR 1.96, 95% CI 1.85–2.07) had almost doubled relative risk of long-term unemployment, compared with the Swedish-born. The hazards of long-term sickness absence were similar across the groups. Refugees (HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.24–1.77), and non-refugees (HR 1.42, 95% CI 1.30–1.56) also had elevated relative risk of disability pension, whereas second-generation migrants had moderately increased relative risks for all three labour market marginalisation events compared with the Swedish-born.
Among the individuals with PTSD, being a migrant increases the risk of LMM, refugees being the foremost among migrants. Further research may benefit from including more recent migrant population, pre-migration information and measuring PTSD clinical severity.