Mental Healthcare Among West/ Central African Immigrants

Literature Review Outline


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Consider, based upon your literature review thus far, what theories have been recurrent.

Describe two theory in your own words, and explain its relationship with the gap in the literature you identified.



Literature Review Outline

Task One: Themes and Their Relation to the Identified Gap in Literature

Causes of the Barriers to Mental Healthcare Among West/ Central African Immigrants

Analysis of articles highlighted a significant theme: specific factors contribute to the disparities in mental healthcare that immigrants from West and Central Africa face. They include a lack of adequate resources in the regions occupied by immigrants (Novak et al., 2018). Scrutiny shows that the regions where the individuals reside lack adequate mental healthcare facilities and specialists, increasing the chances of these individuals failing to seek adequate mental services when in need. Another significant cause of the disparities is immigration policies (Semprini, 2020). The policies impose stringent restrictions that make it difficult for immigrants to access mental health services. The topic relates to the identified gap in literature because it explains why the immigrants from the West and Central African region lack adequate medical services.

Factors that Make West/ Central African Immigrants Vulnerable to Mental Health Problems

Different articles highlight a significant theme, which is that immigrants are vulnerable to mental health disorders. Their susceptibility to mental challenges is precipitated by specific factors such as the challenges of adapting to the foreign country’s new lifestyle, culture, and way of life (Pannetier et al., 2018). Also, the lack of adequate finances is a significant barrier that increases the vulnerability of this population to a lack of mental healthcare services (Akinsulure-Smith, 2017). Most individuals in this population are poorly educated, an aspect that impedes them from securing lucrative employment opportunities that will ensure they can seamlessly meet all their basic needs, including healthcare services. Language barriers also significantly deter individuals from accessing mental healthcare services (Cook et al., 2017). Immigrants from the west and central African region may not be able to express themselves effectively in English. As a result, they may fail to communicate effectively with mental health specialists, which impedes them from effectively explaining the problems they are facing. Individuals from West and Central Africa are also vulnerable to chronic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes (Rodriguez et al., 2021). The topic relates to the identified gap because it explains why many immigrants from the west and central Africa have mental health problems; hence they are negatively impacted by the disparity in access to psychiatric health services.

Interventions can Eliminate the Barriers to Mental Healthcare that West and Central African Immigrants Face

An analysis of literature that discusses the barriers that west and central African immigrants face highlights a significant theme that there are interventions that can aid in eliminating the barriers that impede immigrants from the west and central Africa from accessing adequate mental healthcare services. These include sensitizing the community, especially the immigrants from the west and central Africa, about the significance of seeking mental healthcare services when they encounter psychological problems (Derr, 2016). Another significant intervention that can eliminate the barriers that prevent immigrants from west and central Africa from accessing mental healthcare is to increase the accessibility of medical coverage to the community members. ACA has played a vital role in improving access to care in the populace, including mental health services, and reducing its cost (Wayne, 2021). This aspect relates to the identified because it provides possible solutions that can help eliminate the disparity in healthcare access and ensure that those from the community can access the services seamlessly.


Task Two: Literature Review Outline

I. Introduction

a. Identification of the gap in access to healthcare services

b. Statistics that prove that the gap exists (Yearby, 2018)

c. Research question: What are the barriers to mental healthcare access experiences by the west and central African immigrants?

II. Causes of the barriers to mental health problems experienced by the west and central African immigrants

a. Lack of adequate resources, including:

1. Mental healthcare facilities (Martinez et al., 2015)

2. Psychiatric specialists

b. Immigration policies

1. Prevent the immigrants from accessing medical coverage (Gaston et al., 2016)

2. They prevent immigrants from visiting healthcare facilities.

III. Factors that make west and central African immigrants vulnerable to barriers that limit access to mental healthcare services

a. Increased incidences of mental health problems in the population due to:

1. The stress of settling in a foreign land, such as

i) Challenges of adapting to a new culture, and way of life (Ayon et al., 2020)

ii) Language barriers

b. Lack of finances to seek mental health services due to low educational backgrounds impedes them from securing well-paying jobs (van der Boor & White, 2020).

IV. Interventions that can eliminate the barriers to accessing mental healthcare services that west and central immigrants face

a. Creating public awareness about the significance of seeking mental healthcare services (Derr, 2016).

b. Increasing access to healthcare insurance such as ACA (Cook et al., 2017)

V. Conclusion

a. Summary of the topics covered in the literature review

b. Recommendations











Akinsulure-Smith, A. M. (2017). Resilience in the face of adversity: African immigrants’ mental health needs and the American transition. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies15(4), 428-448.

Ayón, C., Santiago, J. R., & Torres, A. S. L. (2020). Latinx undocumented older adults, health needs, and access to healthcare. Journal of immigrant and minority health22(5), 996-1009.

Cook, B. L., Trinh, N. H., Li, Z., Hou, S. S. Y., & Progovac, A. M. (2017). Trends in racial-ethnic disparities in access to mental health care, 2004–2012. Psychiatric Services68(1), 9-16.

Derr A. S. (2016). Mental Health Service Use Among Immigrants in the United States: A Systematic Review. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)67(3), 265–274.

Diaz, E., Ortiz-Barreda, G., Ben-Shlomo, Y., Holdsworth, M., Salami, B., Rammohan, A., Chung, R. Y., Padmadas, S. S., Krafft, T. (2017). Systematic review and meta-analyses interventions to improve immigrant health. A scoping review. European Journal of Public Health, 27(3), 433–439.

Gaston, G. B., Earl, T. R., Nisanci, A., & Glomb, B. (2016). Perception of mental health services among Black Americans. Social Work in Mental Health14(6), 676-695.

Martinez, O., Wu, E., Sandfort, T., Dodge, B., Carballo-Dieguez, A., Pinto, R., Rhodes, S. D., Moya, E., Chavez-Baray, S. (2015). Evaluating the impact of immigration policies on health status among undocumented immigrants: A systematic review. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 17(3), 947–970.

Novak, P., Anderson, A. C., & Chen, J. (2018). Changes in health insurance coverage and barriers to health care access among individuals with serious psychological distress following the Affordable Care Act. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research45(6), 924-932.

Pannetier, J., Lert, F., Jauffret Roustide, M., & du Loû, A. D. (2017). Mental health of sub-Saharan African migrants: The gendered role of migration paths and transnational ties. SSM – population health, 3, 549–557.

Rodriguez, D. X., Hill, J., & McDaniel, P. N. (2021). A Scoping Review of Literature About Mental Health and Well-Being Among Immigrant Communities in the United States. Health promotion practice, 22(2), 181–192.

Semprini, J. (2020), “A systematic review on the health of African immigrants in the United States: synthesizing recommendations for future research,” International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 121-136.

van der Boor, C. F., & White, R. (2020). Barriers to accessing and negotiating mental health services in asylum-seeking and refugee populations: the application of the candidacy framework. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health22(1), 156-174.

Wayne J., Riley, (2021). Health disparities: Gaps in access, quality, and affordability of medical care. American clinical and climatological association.

Yearby, R. (2018). Racial disparities in health status and access to healthcare: the continuation of inequality in the United States due to structural racism. American Journal of Economics and Sociology77(3-4), 1113-1152.

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