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Arch Hellen Med, 32(6), November-December 2015, 766-776


Comparison of the mental and physical health and quality of life of Greeks,
Albanian immigrants and returnees from the former Soviet Union

C. Prapas,1 V. Mavreas2
1Community Health Unit, Department of Public Health and Community Health, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens,
2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

OBJECTIVE Investigation of the perceptions of Greeks, immigrants from Albania and returnees from the former Soviet Union about their quality of life, and its relationship with their general physical and mental health. Research on physical and mental health and quality of life can contribute significantly to the promotion of the health of both the indigenous population and immigrants, approaching health holistically; the physical, mental and emotional status of the individual works as a whole, the elements interacting with each other in dynamic interaction with the natural and social environment.

METHOD The participants included 303 Greeks (58.3%), 114 immigrants from Albania (21.9%) and 103 returnees from the former Soviet Union (19.8%). They had an age range of 16–64 years, mean 36.3 years, and 257 (49.4%) were male, and 263 (50.6%) female. Their perception of their general health was elicited with the SF-36 questionnaire which assesses the level of physical and mental health. The WHO Quality of Life Questionnaire was used to assess physical, psychological-emotional, interpersonal and social well-being.

RESULTS The returnees from the Soviet Union recorded lower scores on the scales measuring physical role (i.e., greater fatigue and tiredness), and vitality and energy. Low scores for physical and social well-being were associated with tiredness and fatigue, but also with the migration dimension.

CONCLUSIONS Satisfactory general physical and mental health contribute to emotional well-being, while interpersonal well-being is affected by the level of social support.

Key words: Immigration, Mental and physical health, Quality of life, Repatriation.

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