Online Program

Inequities among Irish Travellers concerning self-rated health of the individual and their community: An analysis of the All Ireland Traveller Health Study

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kerianne Burke, MPH Candidate, Master of Public Health Program, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Fernando De Maio, PhD, Department of Sociology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
background: The Travellers are an ethic minority in Ireland who experience poorer health outcomes than the general population.  Little is known, though, about social inequalities in health within the Traveller population.  This study explores whether differences in accommodation, cultural value, social support, and experience of discrimination are associated with differences in self-reported health of the individual and their community.

methods: Secondary analysis of the 2010 All Ireland Traveller Health Study (N = 1,663). Binary logistic regression analysis was used to examine socio-demographic and cultural predictors of two measures of poor health: “In general, would you say your health is…” and “Overall, how healthy do you consider the place where your family lives?”

findings: 17.3% of respondents reported being in poor health, and 24.5% felt that their community was unhealthy or very unhealthy. Respondents with little/no support from friends are most likely to report poor health (OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.18-2.18), as are those respondents experiencing discrimination sometimes/often (OR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.28-2.43).  Respondents' value of Traveller culture did not predict poor self-rated health or community health.  However, living in a trailer is a statistically significant predictor of poor health of one’s community (OR = 7.38, 95% CI = 5.65-9.65). 

conclusion: Previous research has focused on health disparities between Travellers and non-Travellers.  However, new ways of life combined with persisting discrimination creates a need for Traveller health to be studied among its own community so that the true health potential of its members can be understood. 

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the social patterning of poor health among Travellers in the Republic of Ireland.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I performed the described analysis of the All Ireland Traveller Health Study with the permission of the Irish Social Science Data Archive team at the University College Dublin. This analysis was completed under the supervision of Fernando De Maio, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at DePaul University. I am a Master of Public Health candidate at DePaul University, with interests in health disparities and social determinants of health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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