Barriers and facilitators experienced by migrants and refugees when accessing pharmaceutical care: A scoping review

Filmer, Tamara, Ray, Robin, and Glass, Beverley D. (2023) Barriers and facilitators experienced by migrants and refugees when accessing pharmaceutical care: A scoping review. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 19 (7). pp. 977-988.

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Background: Pharmacists in the community are often among the first health professionals encountered by new arrivals. Their accessibility and the longevity of the relationship gives pharmacy staff unique opportunities to work with migrants and refugees to meet their health needs. While the language, cultural and health literacy barriers that cause poorer health outcomes are well documented in medical literature, there is a need to validate the barriers to accessing pharmaceutical care and to identify facilitators for efficient care in the migrant/refugee patient-pharmacy staff interaction.

Objective: The purpose of this scoping review was to investigate the barriers and facilitators that migrant and refugee populations experience when accessing pharmaceutical care in host countries.

Methods: A comprehensive search of Medline, Emcare on Ovid, CINAHL and SCOPUS databases, guided by the PRISMA-ScR statement, was undertaken to identify the original research published in English between 1990 and December 2021. The studies were screened based on inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results: A total of 52 articles from around the world were included in this review. The studies revealed that the barriers to migrants and refugees accessing pharmaceutical care are well documented and include language, health literacy, unfamiliarity with health systems, and cultural beliefs and practises. Empirical evidence was less robust for facilitators, but suggested strategies included improvement of communication, medication review, community education and relationship building.

Conclusions: While barriers experienced are known, there is a lack of evidence for facilitators for provision of pharmaceutical care to refugees and migrants and poor uptake of available tools and resources. There is a need for further research to identify facilitators that are effective in improving access to pharmaceutical care and practical for implementation by pharmacies.

Item ID: 78269
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1934-8150
Keywords: Cultural awareness, Culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Health literacy, Language, Medication, Pharmacist
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2023 01:59
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420305 Health and community services @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420602 Health equity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200505 Migrant health @ 70%
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200407 Health status (incl. wellbeing) @ 30%
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