Access to medicine among asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants across the migratory cycle: a scoping review protocol

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Introduction Migration creates new health vulnerabilities
and exacerbates pre-existing medical conditions. Migrants
often face legal, system-related, administrative, language
and financial barriers to healthcare, but little is known
about factors that specifically influence migrants’ access
to medicines and vaccines. This scoping review aims to
map existing evidence on access to essential medicines
and vaccines among asylum seekers, refugees and
undocumented migrants who aim to reach Europe. We will
consolidate existing information and analyse the barriers
that limit access at the different stages of the migratory
phases, as well as policies and practices undertaken to
address them.
Methods We follow the Arksey and O’Malley framework
for knowledge synthesis of research, as updated by
Levac et al. For reporting the results of our search and
to synthetise evidence, we will adhere to the Preferred
Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and MetaAnalyses extended reporting guideline for scoping reviews.
This scoping review consists of five iterative stages.
Bibliographic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane
Database of Systematic Reviews and Scopus) and grey
literature databases (Open Grey, Grey Literature Report and
Google Scholar, Web of Science Conference Proceedings,
non-governmental organisations and United Nations
agency websites) will be searched for relevant studies.
Dissemination and ethics This review will be
disseminated through a peer-reviewed article in
a scientific open-access journal and conference
presentations. Furthermore, findings will be shared at
workshops of research and operational stakeholders
for facilitating translation into research and operational
practices. Since it consists of reviewing and collecting data
from publicly available materials, this scoping review does
not require ethics approval.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere068917
JournalBMJ Open
Issue numbere068917
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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