Alberta's Indigenous population is growing, yet health care access may be limited. This paper presents a comprehensive review on health care access among Indigenous populations in Alberta with a focus on the health care services use and barriers to health care access. Scientific databases (PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO) and online search engines were systematically searched for studies and grey literature published in English between 2000 and 2013 examining health care services access, use and barriers to access among Indigenous populations in Alberta. Information on health care services use and barriers to use or access was synthesized based on the MOOSE guidelines. Overall, compared to non-Indigenous populations, health care use rates for hospital/emergency room services were higher and health care services use of outpatient specialists was lower among Indigenous peoples. Inadequate numbers of Indigenous health care professionals; a lack of cross-cultural training; fear of foreign environments; and distance from family and friends were barriers to health care use and access. Inequity in social determinants of health among Indigenous peoples and inadequate "health services with prevention approaches," may contribute to present health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in the province.


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pp. 1286-1303
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