Deportation and Homelessness in a Mexico-US Border City: An Assessment of Health Status and Health Care
Objective: To characterize the physical and mental health profile, and access to health services of homeless returnees, and to compare it with the characteristics of persons with no migratory experience, among a homeless population in Tijuana.
Methods: We conducted a survey in a temporary camp for returned migrants and homeless people in Tijuana in December 2013. Aiming to survey all persons sleeping in the camp during a 3 week period, and who had not answered to the survey before, we approached 460 persons, of which 435 (94.6%) agreed to respond. The questionnaire explored self-perceived health, previous diagnosis of chronic and infectious diseases, mental health with the 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiological Studies-depression (CES-D) and three questions regarding suicide ideation, and questions on health insurance and use of services. We compared the distribution of health-related variables between forced returnees (removed or returned), voluntary returnees, and those without experience of migration to the US.
Results: Of 435 persons living in the camp who responded the survey, 79.1% were forced-return migrants, 11.0% voluntary returnees, and 9.9% persons without international migratory experience. The percentage of respondents perceiving their health as very good-good was 12.79% among forced-return migrants, 22.92% among voluntary returnees, and 13.95% among those without migratory experience (chi2 p=0.20). The prevalence of chronic conditions (hypertension and diabetes) was similar between the three groups. The prevalence of depressive symptoms (CES-D >=10) was 48.38% for the whole sample, 49.11% for forced-return migrants, 52.08% for voluntary returnees, and 40.48% for those without migratory experience (chi2 p=0.50). A multivarite logistic regression showed that forced returnees were more likely to score over the cut-off point of the CES-D (OR 3.67, 95% CI 0.58-23.45). 55.39% of the forced-return migrants, 37.50% of voluntary returnees, and 55.81% of those without migratory experience had no medical insurance (chi2 p=0.06).
Conclusions: In the Mexico-US border, return migrants are part of the homeless population, and they present important health needs. New health, social and economical policies are required.
Learning Areas:Biostatistics, economics
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health
Analyze the physical and mental health profile, and access to health services of homeless returnees Compare the characteristics of homeless returnees and persons with no migratory experience, among a homeless population in Tijuana
Keyword(s): Health Care Access, Homelessness
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been co-author of two papers (in dictamination process) focused on the health status, mental health and access to care of vulnerable groups. Im a research assitance of a project focus on measuring disordered eating behaviors in women in a Mexico-United States border city. Among my scientific interest has been the acces to health and care of forced returned mexicans from the United States.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.