Gypsy, Roma and Traveller access to and engagement with health services: a systematic review

Alison McFadden, Lindsay Siebelt, Anna Gavine, Karl Atkin, Kerry Bell, Nicola Innes, Helen Jones, Cath Jackson, Haggi Michael Haggi, Stephen MacGillivray

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Citations (Scopus)
216 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people represent the most disadvantaged minority groups in Europe, having the poorest health outcomes. This systematic review addressed the question of how Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people access healthcare and what are the best ways to enhance their engagement with health services.

Methods: Searches were conducted in 21 electronic databases complemented by a focussed Google search. Studies were included if they had sufficient focus on Gypsy, Roma or Traveller populations; reported data pertinent to healthcare service use or engagement; and were published in English from 2000 to 2015. Study findings were analysed thematically and a narrative synthesis reported.

Results: Ninety-nine studies from 32 countries were included, covering a range of health services. Nearly half of the presented findings related to primary healthcare services. Reported barriers to health service usage related to organisation of health systems, discrimination, culture and language, health literacy, service-user attributes, and economic barriers. Promising engagement strategies included specialist roles, outreach services, dedicated services, raising health awareness, handheld records, training for staff, and collaborative working.

Conclusion: This review provides evidence that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller populations across Europe struggle to exercise their right to healthcare on account of multiple barriers; and related to other determinants of disadvantage such as low literacy levels and experiences of discrimination. Some promising strategies to overcome barriers were reported but the evidence is weak, therefore rigorous evaluations of interventions to improve access to and engagement with health services for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Gypsy
  • Roma
  • Travellers
  • access to healthcare
  • healthcare utilisation
  • Systematic review

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  • Research Output

    • 17 Citations
    • 1 Commissioned report

    Enhancing Gypsy, Roma and Traveller peoples’ trust: using maternity and early years’ health services and dental health services as exemplars of mainstream service provision

    McFadden, A., Siebelt, L., Jackson, C., Jones, H., Innes, N., MacGillivray, S., Bell, K., Corbacho, B., Gavine, A., Haggi, H. M. & Atkin, K., 14 Sep 2018, Dundee: University of Dundee. 231 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Open Access
    File
  • 570 Downloads (Pure)

    Activities

    • 2 Public engagement and outreach - work on advisory panels

    Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

    Alison McFadden (Member)

    18 Apr 2018

    Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - work on advisory panels

    Scottish Government Ministerial Working Group on Gypsy/Travellers

    Alison McFadden (Member)

    12 Dec 2018

    Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - work on advisory panels

    Profiles

    No photo of Nicola Innes

    Innes, Nicola

    • Dentistry - Honorary Professor & Chair of Paediatric Dentistry

    Person: Honorary

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