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Introduction: Despite having high unmet health need, people with severe and multiple disadvantage (SMD, including combinations of homelessness, substance misuse, poor mental health and domestic violence and abuse) have poor access to general practice. This realist review will examine the existing evidence on interventions or aspects of routine care in general practice that are likely to increase or decrease access to general practice for people with SMD. Methods and analysis: The aim of this review is to identify how these interventions or aspects of routine care increase or decrease access to general practice for people with SMD, in which contexts and for which patients. This review will involve a process comprising five sequential phases: (1) identifying established theories, (2) conducting an extensive search for proof, (3) selecting appropriate articles, (4) gathering and organising relevant data, and (5) utilising a realist analytical approach to synthesise evidence and make conclusions. Local implementation documents, in addition to published research studies, will be incorporated to enrich the analysis. We will collaborate with a stakeholder group consisting of people with lived experience of SMD and those who support them to advise us throughout. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval is not required. Our findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations and lay summaries and will be used to develop a complex intervention for improving access to general practice for and with people with severe and multiple disadvantage.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome Open Research


F1000 Research Ltd

Publication Date





331 - 331