Awan, H, Mughal, F, Kingstone, T, Chew-Graham, CA and Corp, N (2022) Emotional distress, anxiety, and depression in South Asians with long-term conditions: a qualitative systematic review. British Journal of General Practice. ISSN 1478-5242

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BACKGROUND: People with physical-mental comorbidity have a poorer quality of life, worse clinical outcomes, and increased mortality compared with people with physical conditions alone. People of South Asian (SA) origin are the largest minority group in the UK and are more likely to have long-term conditions (LTCs) such as diabetes and heart disease. People of SA origin are less likely to recognise symptoms that may represent mental health problems. AIM: To explore how people of SA origin with LTCs understand, experience, and seek help for emotional distress, depression, and anxiety. DESIGN AND SETTING: Systematic review of qualitative studies exploring emotional distress in people of SA origin with diabetes or coronary heart disease, within primary and community care settings worldwide. METHOD: Comprehensive searches of eight electronic databases from inception to 1 September 2021 were undertaken. Data extracted included study characteristics, and understanding, experience, and help-seeking behaviour for emotional distress. Thematic synthesis was undertaken. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist for qualitative studies was used to assess quality of articles, and Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative Research (GRADE-CERQual) used to determine the overall strength of evidence. RESULTS: Twenty-one studies from 3165 unique citations were included. Three main themes were identified. Understanding of emotional distress: non-medical terminology used, such as 'tension', and a complex relationship between emotional and physical illness. Experiences of emotional distress: multiple forms of inequality, distress at diagnosis of their LTC, cultural factors, and sex differences. Help-seeking behaviour: self-management, support from family, friends, and faith, and inadequate clinical support. CONCLUSION: This review provides a greater understanding of the conceptualisation of emotional distress in the context of LTCs by people of SA origin, to support improvement in its recognition and management.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is Open Access: CC BY license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: distress; general practice; health inequality; long-term conditions; mental health; systematic review
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography > GF31 Human Geography
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2022 13:46
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2022 09:06

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