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Correlates of expected eMental Health intervention uptake among Filipino domestic workers in China

  • Brian J. Hall (a1) (a2), Wei Shi (a1), Melissa R. Garabiles (a1) (a3) and Edward W. W. Chan (a1)



Transnational migrant populations face critical barriers to mental health service utilization that perpetuate mental health disparities globally. Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) number over 2 million globally and 25% are female domestic workers. Structural barriers prevent equitable access to mental health services for this population. Electronic mental health (eMental Health) intervention is a scalable alternative to face-to-face treatment. The current study sought to identify key correlates of intention to use eMental Health within a community of female Filipino domestic workers living and working in Macao (SAR), China.


Respondent-driven sampling implemented at a community field site was used to reach a sample of 1364 female domestic workers. A multivariable adjusted partial proportional-odds (PPO) model was used to assess relevant correlates of intent to use eMental Health.


The majority (62.8%) reported being likely to utilize eMental Health. The adjusted PPO model showed that younger age (18–25, 26–35, 36–45 v. over 55), longer time as an OFW, being likely (v. neutral and unlikely) to seek professional services, willingness to pay for services (v. not), belief that mental health services are a priority (v. low priority), having access to Wi-Fi outside the employer's home (v. not), and higher levels of social support were associated with increased odds of intent to use eMental Health.


eMental Health is a promising intervention with high potential for uptake among OFWs. The majority of the study population owned a smartphone and were able to connect to the Internet or Wi-Fi. Future work will rigorously evaluate eMental Health programs for use among OFWs.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Brian J. Hall, Global and Community Mental Health Research Group, University of Macau, E21-3040, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau (SAR), People's Republic of China. (Email:


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