Psychological Distress and Somatization in Immigrants in Primary Health Care Practices

Rosa García-Sierra, María Isabel Fernández-Cano*, Josep María Manresa-Domínguez, María Feijoo-Cid, Eduard Moreno Gabriel, Antonia Arreciado Marañón, Francesc Ramos-Roure, Jordi Segura-Bernal, Pere Torán-Monserrat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The process of international migration causes a situation of vulnerability in people's health and greater difficulty in coping with disease. Furthermore, the adversities suffered during migration can trigger reactive signs of stress and cause anxious, depressive, confusional and somatic symptoms. This article studies the relationships between psychosocial risk, psychological distress and somatization in immigrants from four communities: Maghrebis, Sub-Saharans, South Americans and South Asian. A cross-sectional study was carried out with questionnaires on 602 immigrants who were surveyed in the primary care centers of an urban area of Catalonia. The instruments used were the Demographic Psychosocial Inventory (DPSI), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the Somatic Symptom Inventory (SSI). The average psychosocial risk obtained was 0.35, with the highest values in the Sub-Saharan community. Psychological distress showed a mean value of 0.66, with the Sub-Saharan community scoring the lowest in all dimensions except depression. The average somatization values were 1.65, with the Sub-Saharan community scoring the least. The female gender is a risk factor for somatization and psychological distress. Perceived psychosocial risk is a predictor of psychological distress, but not somatization, suggesting that the use of more
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)557.
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2020


  • Immigrants
  • Primary health care
  • Psychological
  • Somatization disorders
  • Stress
  • Vulnerable populations


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