The Socio-Ecological Model Approach to Understanding Barriers and Facilitators to the Accessing of Health Services by Sex Workers: A Systematic Review

Polly H.X. Ma, Chung Yee Zenobia Chan, Jean Tak Alice Loke Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Inequities in accessing health care persist among sex workers. The purpose of the review is to understand the health-seeking behaviours of sex workers and their access to health care services with socio-ecological model. Of 3852 citations screened, 30 met the inclusion criteria for this review. The access that sex workers have to health services is a complex issue. A wide range of barriers and facilitators at multiple levels could influence sex workers’ utilization of health care services, such as health or service information, stigma, social support, quality of health care, available, accessible and affordable services, healthcare policy. Health services or future intervention studies should take into account the facilitators and barriers identified in this review to improve the health services utilization and health of sex workers, as part of the effort to protect the right of humans to health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2412-2438
Number of pages27
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Accessing of health services
  • Barriers
  • Facilitators
  • Sex worker
  • Socio-ecological model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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