Introduction Traveller are an indigenous minority in Ireland, with poorer life expectancy and health status than the general population. We describe here the self-reported burden of mental ill-health and its associates.
Methods A census survey of all Travellers was undertaken, with 8492 enumerated families (80% response rate). A random subset of 1796 adults completed a health survey. Peer researchers employed a novel oral-visual computer data-collection methodology. Age and sex-adjusted logistic regression models were fitted, with one or more days of mental ill-health in the last month as the dependent variable.
Results Overall 39% of men (225/580) and 41% of women (495/1211) reported mental ill-health, increasing with age (p=0.001). In a multivariable model, factors associated with increased odds of mental ill-health were poorer physical health (OR 4.7, 95% CI 3.3 to 6.8), being unable to enjoy usual activities (OR 17.2, 95% CI 11.7 to 25.2), regular alcohol consumption (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.3), agreeing that drugs are a community problem (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.6), that nomadism is important (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.2), and increasing experience of discrimination (OR 1.1 per 1-point increase in scale, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.1). Factors associated with reduced odds were male sex (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.95), rural vs urban living (OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.8), and social supports (OR 0.84 per 10% increase in scale, 95% CI 0.75 to 0.97. AUROC was 0.92.
Conclusions This novel study comprehensively profiles associations of mental ill-health in a vulnerable minority community.