Coping Strategies and Psychological Well-Being Among Bhutanese Refugees Resettled in Ottawa, Canada
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Since 2008, more than 6000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in over 21 communities across Canada, with nearly 300 individuals residing in Ottawa. This resettling process is associated with physical and psychological stress, as individuals acclimatize to a new country. A lack of understanding of the impact of this transition exists. This study assessed the relationship between coping strategies and psychological well-being of Bhutanese refugees resettled in Ottawa. A cross sectional survey of a representative sample of Bhutanese adults (n = 110) was conducted between November and December 2015. Coping strategies and psychological well-being were measured using the Brief COPE and General Well-being (GWB) scales. The total GWB mean score of 69.04 ± 12.09 suggests that respondents were in moderate distress. GWB did not significantly differ by sex, marital status, religion, employment, part time or full time job, or length of stay in Canada. Using multiple linear regression, significant independent variables from univariate analysis with GWB (age, education, positive reframing, self-blame and venting) were modeled to determine the best predictors of general well-being (GWB, F (11, 96) = 3.61, p < .001, R² = 21.2%). Higher levels of education and positive reframing were associated with greater GWB scores while self-blame and ages 41-50 were inversely associated with general well-being. It was found that above 66% of the unemployed participants were from age groups 41 and above. This finding suggests that career guidance services and vocational training to address unemployment may benefit this community. Nurses can provide support and counselling to assist refugees to minimize the use of negative coping strategies like self-blame and venting and promote positive coping strategies. Further, collaboration between nurses, other interdisciplinary professionals and community organizations is necessary to address social determinants of health and enhance refugee psychological well-being.