Perinatal health outcomes of women from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities: A systematic review

Winifred Ekezie, Ellen Hopwood, Barbara Czyznikowska, Sarah Weidman, Nicola Mackintosh, Ffion Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: GRT communities are disadvantaged minority groups in Europe and experience some of the poorest health outcomes, including maternal and child health. This systematic review aimed to assess the maternal, perinatal and infant health outcomes of women from GRT communities and the factors associated with the reported outcomes.
Methods: Database searches were conducted from inception to June 2023 in 4 bibliographic databases supplemented with an additional Google Scholar search. Studies with quantitative data on maternal outcomes published in English were considered. A narrative synthesis was performed, and data were presented in text, figures and tables.
Findings: Forty-five studies from 13 European countries were included. Outcome factors related to mothers showing low healthcare engagement, high fertility rates and shorter gestation periods among GRT women. Child wantedness was also noted to influence pregnancy completeness, which included abortion and miscarriage. More negative infant outcomes were seen in GRT infants than non-GRT infants; this included higher preterm births, lower birth weight, higher rates of intrauterine growth restriction and infant mortality. Risk factors of poorer maternal outcomes were early reproduction, education, smoking, alcohol consumption, deprivation, poor nutrition and perinatal care.
Conclusion: This review provides evidence that GRT women and children experience more negative outcomes than general populations. It also highlights the gaps in ethnicity and health inequalities more broadly. The significant importance of this research is the need for increased focus on reducing health inequalities, especially among the GRT community.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103910
Early online date11 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors. CC BY 4.0


  • Gypsy, Roma and Travellers
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Maternal health
  • Infant health
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth


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