Marginalised Roma

Which CoHeReNt members are involved?
Andrej Belák (andrej.belak@upjs.sk)
Andrea Madarasová Gecková, Peter Kolarčik, Daniela Fiľakovská Bobáková, Lucia Bosáková, Ingrid Babinská, Katarína Rosičová

What does the team do?
The team researches the pertaining Roma versus non-Roma health-disparity from an applied perspective with a specific focus on the most vulnerable, segregated Roma communities. We study the disparities in the health outcomes and exposures as well as the related social determinants and their particular pathways and mechanisms within the specific context of segregated Roma settlements. We are also interested in examining related intervention programs.

What methods does the team use?
To study the inter-ethnic disparities and to identify potentially involved exposures and social determinants we use mostly comparative cross-sectional study designs. To deliver a more practical context-based knowledge regarding particular pathways and mechanisms, as well as regarding related intervention programs, we use qualitative research techniques and mixed-methods participatory designs.

What are the team’s most remarkable projects?
Our HepaMETA project, conducted in 2011, earned a series of rigorous comparative studies which helped to expose for the first time with the use of clinical data the steep health-outcomes disparity between segregated Roma and local non-Roma populations in Slovakia. The project also shed light on many involved exposures and social determinants.

Our applied qualitative research on the health system limitations of Roma health in Slovakia, funded by the WHO in 2013 identified many important whys and hows regarding the existing health-care access barriers for segregated Roma in the country.

The outcomes of our applied ethnographic research within the national Healthy Communities health-mediation program for segregated Roma laid basis for re-structuring of the intervention according to state-of-the art participatory health-promotion expertise. At present, we are negotiating with the Slovak Ministry of health an evaluation of the long-term effects on the program on social determinants of health.