Unravelling € low-resource settings': A systematic scoping review with qualitative content analysis

Chanel van Zyl, Marelise Badenhorst, Susan Hanekom, Martin Heine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction The effects of healthcare-related inequalities are most evident in low-resource settings. Such settings are often not explicitly defined, and umbrella terms which are easier to operationalise, such as € low-to-middle-income countries' or € developing countries', are often used. Without a deeper understanding of context, such proxies are pregnant with assumptions, insinuate homogeneity that is unsupported and hamper knowledge translation between settings. Methods A systematic scoping review was undertaken to start unravelling the term € low-resource setting'. PubMed, Africa-Wide, Web of Science and Scopus were searched (24 June 2019), dating back ≤5 years, using terms related to € low-resource setting' and € rehabilitation'. Rehabilitation was chosen as a methodological vehicle due to its holistic nature (eg, multidisciplinary, relevance across burden of disease, and throughout continuum of care) and expertise within the research team. Qualitative content analysis through an inductive approach was used. Results A total of 410 codes were derived from 48 unique articles within the field of rehabilitation, grouped into 63 content categories, and identified nine major themes relating to the term € low-resource setting'. Themes that emerged relate to (1) financial pressure, (2) suboptimal healthcare service delivery, (3) underdeveloped infrastructure, (4) paucity of knowledge, (5) research challenges and considerations, (6) restricted social resources, (7) geographical and environmental factors, (8) human resource limitations and (9) the influence of beliefs and practices. Conclusion The emerging themes may assist with (1) the groundwork needed to unravel € low-resource settings' in health-related research, (2) moving away from assumptive umbrella terms like € low-to-middle-income countries' or € low/middle-income countries' and (3) promoting effective knowledge transfer between settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere005190
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2021

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