healthcare and social organisations facing differences


Healthcare and social organisations facing differences - an inquiry in five European neighbourhoods

In a society marked by multiple diseases, complex lives and intersecting social divisions, health and social care organisations have to adapt their policies and practices on an organisational and relational level. This adaptation to specific demands requires awareness that the use of protocols and practices that are based on social categories such as gender, origin, disability, age, and religion, can incur the risk of multiple, overlapping discriminations.

In this project, we seek to analyse how health and social care organisations respond to the increasing diversity of their users’ needs. What measures have they implemented in order to favour equity of access to health and social care and to improve its quality? To what extent do they use a person-centred approach, taking into account personal life experience and the intersection of identities? Through observations, semi-directive interviews with users and professionals from health and social care organisations, we will produce a systematic, qualitative comparison of  low-threshold health and social care organisations in five European neighbourhoods, all confronted by a highly diversified population. This analysis will allow us to formulate concrete recommendations for fair and equitable services in complex societies.

With respect to the context of different welfare regimes and the uniqueness of each chosen neighbourhood, we would like to identify difference-sensitive policies and practices that favour equity in health and social care and tackle multiple discrimination.

Project lead by Sandro Cattacin (University of Geneva) and Dagmar Domenig (Arkadis Foundation); principal investigator: Anna Weber (University of Geneva); research assistant: Irina Radu (University of Geneva)

Financing: Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research SER.

Context: COST Action number IS1103 ADAPT - “Adapting European health systems to diversity"

More about

The detailed research project

About the research team


Contact: Anna Weber

First Publications:

Domenig, Dagmar (2014). "Umang mit lebensweltlichen Verschiedenheiten im Gesundheitsbereich." NOVAcura 3(14): 10-13.

Cattacin, Sandro, Antonio Chiarenza et Dagmar Domenig (2013). "Equity Standards for Health Care Organisations: a Theoretical Framework." Diversity and Equality in Health and Care 10(4): 249-258.