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Barriers to access of healthcare services by the immigrant population in Scandinavia: a scoping review protocol
  1. Lily Appoh1,
  2. Franca Felix2,
  3. Preben Ulrich Pedersen3
  1. 1 Faculty for Nursing and Health Science, Nord Universitet—Namsos Campus, Namsos, Norway
  2. 2 Faculty of Health Sciences, The Artic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  3. 3 Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lily Appoh; lily.appoh{at}


Introduction Access to healthcare services for legal immigrants in Scandinavia is part of the policy agenda of the various governments as they strive to provide equal healthcare services to its citizens. Legal immigrants have the same rights as natives; however, studies have shown that there are inequalities in access to healthcare services between legal immigrants and natives. The extent of access depends on several factors, including organisational, social, financial and cultural factors. The lack of these factors acts as a barrier to access of healthcare services. The aim of this review is to map and report the evidence available on the barriers to access of healthcare services by legal immigrants in Scandinavia.

Methods and analysis We will adopt the six-stage framework developed by Arksey and O’Malley: (1) identifying the research question(s); (2) searching for relevant studies; (3) selecting studies; (4) charting the data; (5) collating, summarising and reporting the results; (6) conducting consultation exercises refined by Levac et al and the Joanna Briggs Institute. The search strategy for this scoping review will involve electronic databases including Ovid Medline, PsycINFO, Ovid EMBASE, PubMed and Google Scholar, in addition to grey literature from websites of relevant organisations. Data will be extracted and charted by two independent reviewers. A narrative summary of the findings will be presented.

Ethics and dissemination This is a review of the literature and all data will be obtained from publicly available materials; therefore, ethics approval is not required. The findings from this study will be disseminated as publications in peer-reviewed journals, at relevant national and international conferences, and as presentations to the health authorities in several municipalities in the Trøndelag region of Norway.

  • access
  • barriers
  • healthcare services
  • immigrants
  • Scandinavia

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  • Contributors LA and FF conceptualised the study and FF designed and prepared the draft of the research proposal. All authors contributed to developing the background and planned output of the review, as well as the design of the study. LA and FF prepared the manuscript, PUP read and critiqued the draft, and LA did the final review of the manuscript and submitted it. All authors reviewed draft versions of the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding LA received funding from the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nord University to attend a course in scoping reviews.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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