Support and Emotional Well-Being of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Spain

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 12;17(22):8365. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17228365.


Although the world's forcibly displaced population reached 79.5 million in 2019, their difficult situations and the issues they struggle with remain practically invisible in Spanish society. Therefore, it seems necessary to provide greater insight into an invisible reality to improve the refugees' situation. The present cross-sectional study aims to draw a general profile of refugees' and asylum seekers' main characteristics in Spain and their well-being. A total of 186 refugees living in Spain participated. An ad-hoc questionnaire was administered to obtain data regarding sociodemographic profile, language skills, and social and institutional support. A standardized instrument, SPANE, was used to measure well-being. It can be seen that healthcare, followed by legal aid, are the easiest to access. On the other hand, finding a job, having money, and finding housing are the most difficult. In general, it seems possible to say that the refugees present more positive feelings than negative ones, which implies a positive emotional balance, although the average score obtained for emotional balance is quite far from the highest possible score. We consider this to be a pivotal first step which can provide useful information for the further design of aid strategies to improve this vulnerable group's situation.

Keywords: Spain; asylum-seekers; linguistic knowledge; refugees; sociodemographic profile; well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emotions*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Refugees* / psychology
  • Refugees* / statistics & numerical data
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires