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Health status of Gypsy Travellers

P. Van Cleemput, G. Parry
2001 Journal of public health  
Although previous studies suggest that Gypsy Travellers have poorer health status and excess mortality compared with the general population, there is no epidemiological evidence using validated measures in this nomadic ethnic group. The aim of this study was to compare the health status of traditional Gypsy Travellers with norms from the UK population, and with a concurrent comparison group using the Euroqol health status measure (EQ-5D). Methods Eighty-seven adult Gypsy Travellers were matched
more » ... ellers were matched for age and sex with English or Irish residents, registered with an urban general practice in an area of high social deprivation. Both samples completed the EQ-5D questionnaire by interview. A comparison was also made with normative data from the UK general population. Results Travellers had poorer health status than their settled counterparts on two of the five dimensions (mobility and activity) but not on the overall summary score. Travellers reported significantly poorer health than the matched comparison group on the EQ-5D visual analogue scale. Both the Travellers and the comparison group had much poorer health status on the EQ-5D index than the UK population norms, even when compared with the lowest socioeconomic group. Conclusions Health status of Gypsy Travellers was significantly poorer than in the lowest socio-economic UK population group, but was not so markedly different from a concurrent, matched, socially deprived resident group. Gypsy Travellers did have poorer health status than matched comparators in relation to mobility, activity and perception of overall health. Quantitative assessment of health status in the Traveller community is feasible.
doi:10.1093/pubmed/23.2.129 fatcat:l52cy2oi3nhhjiuh7vcnk2ho5u