Cancer prevention among Gypsies, Roma and Travellers: a participatory action research project
Professor Louise Condon, Swansea University
Start date: June 2018
Duration: 12 months
Funded amount: £29,924
The purpose of the project is to work collaboratively with community members as co-researchers to explore the views of Gypsy, Traveller and Roma people in Wales on cancer prevention, and develop interventions to reduce the risk of cancer.
This research is needed because Gypsy-Travellers suffer worse health than the general population, often experience barriers in accessing screening and other health services and view cancer fatalistically. Among ethnic minority groups there is known to be a lower awareness of cancer risk factors, symptoms and services, but little is known about this community. Therefore it is important to explore the measures Gypsies, Roma and Travellers take to maintain their health, and their attitudes to cancer prevention and screening.
Interviews on cancer prevention will include the topics of diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol, uptake of screening and immunisation, which affect individuals’ cancer risk and are risk factors in Gypsy-Traveller communities. Peer researchers will conduct interviews because the community traditionally lacks trust in outsiders and would be unlikely to discuss this sensitive subject with people outside their own ethnic group(s). Interview findings will then be presented by peer researchers to community members and health service providers at two feedback workshops in North and South Wales.
Workshop participants will take part in exercises to identify interventions that can be adopted by health service providers and by the community to raise awareness of cancer prevention. These interventions will be shared by research team members and workshop participants at national and local levels.