Psychological well-being of Portuguese expatriates in Sub-Saharan Africa: a cross-sectional study

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Background: Psychological health problems are highlighted among the most relevant disease patterns in expatriates. The purpose of this study was to determine the psychological well-being in Portuguese expatriates in Angola and Mozambique, considering the increasing expatriation wave.

Methods: A cross-sectional self-administered web survey was conducted in a sample of 352 Portuguese civil expatriates in Angola and Mozambique. Clinically significant psychological distress was determined using General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12 and associated factors were studied using multiple logistic regression analysis.

Results: GHQ-12 items showed good internal consistency as reflected by the Cronbach's alpha. One-third of the screened expatriates corresponded to cases of clinically significant psychological distress. Age, country of birth, self-reported psychological symptoms and self-perception of general health in the previous 3 months were identified as independent variables associated with psychological distress.

Conclusions: Increasing awareness and monitoring expatriates mental health should be in the health agenda, furthermore considering them a risk group in need of evidence-based mental health expatriate preparedness. The use of user-friendly validated tools, such as GHQ-12, allowing objective assessment and surveillance of these hard to reach populations should be reinforced.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal Of Travel Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Journal Article


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