Psychiatric disorders in inpatient Ethiopian migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates

Karim Abdel Aziz, Hawraa Sameer Sajwani, Mohammed Galadari, Abeer Al-Ammari, Jameilah AlHassani, Nawwaf Al-Nuaimi, Mohamed Elhassan Elamin, Dina Aly El-Gabry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Migrant workers have higher rates of mental health problems than non-migrant workers, with Ethiopian migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates appearing to be overrepresented in the psychiatric inpatient population compared with their numbers in the general population. We sought to investigate the pattern of psychiatric inpatient admissions in Ethiopian migrant workers over a 10-year period (2011–2020) in order to highlight demographic and clinical characteristics, and to investigate factors predicting the length of hospital stay. We reported the mean and frequency of demographic and clinical data of Ethiopian psychiatric inpatients at one of the largest governmental hospitals in eastern Abu Dhabi between 2011 and 2020, and investigated factors predicting length of stay in hospital using linear regression. Our results show that Ethiopian expatriates made up 7.9% of all admissions over a 10-year period, had a mean length of hospital stay of almost 20 days, with 98.1% of them being female, 92.8% being domestic workers, 90.1% having a language barrier, 57.4% being single and 55.5.% having one or more recent stressors prior to admission. The most common diagnoses were acute stress reaction (31.6%), psychosis (29.3%), bipolar disorder (14.8%) and adjustment disorder (11.0%). Work-related stress, termination of employment and several clinical factors significantly predicted length of stay in hospital.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTranscultural Psychiatry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • domestic workers
  • Ethiopia
  • migrant workers
  • psychiatric inpatients
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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