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A literature review of the health of gypsy / traveller families in Scotland: the challenges for health promotion

Smart, Helen and Titterton, Mike and Clark, Colin (2003) A literature review of the health of gypsy / traveller families in Scotland: the challenges for health promotion. Health Education, 103 (3). pp. 156-165. ISSN 0965-4283

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Abstract

In this paper, findings from a detailed literature review (which was commissioned in March 2002 by Queen Margaret University College, UK) on Gypsy/Travellers' health are presented as well as suggestions on where 'gaps' exist in related empirical research. The review found that much of the existing research is out of date and found few thorough empirical studies of the health of Gypsy/Traveller communities in Scotland. The authors found that a predominant focus within the literature concerns health beliefs and cultural practices, with far less discussion about the material problems of poverty and social exclusion which affect Traveller communities. Emphasis is given in this paper to problems of access, health inequalities and wider concerns with social inclusion/exclusion. The authors identify the main challenges for health promotion among Gypsy/Traveller families in Scotland and argue that a key route to tackling social exclusion may lie in adopting a community development approach.