Research Translation: Women’s health in midlife video series
The risk of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis increases after women go through menopause. These conditions can be delayed, or their impacts minimised by making healthy life changes in midlife. Access to clear, usable health information is vital to public health promotion and disease prevention and is a key priority in the Australian Government’s National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030.
According to the 2016 Census, 22.5% of the immigrant population who arrived in Australia between 2011 to 2016 had very poor knowledge of English or very limited English or didn’t speak English at all. Women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds experience language and cultural barriers to accessing health services and information. The National Women’s Health Strategy recognises them as a priority population.
How accessible is web-based health information for women with low health literacy or from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds?
Researchers from CRE WaND reviewed the accessibility of Australian internet-based information on women’s midlife health issues. We focused on information available to women with low health literacy or from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
We evaluated websites based on the following:
- Findability – Is the site on the first page of Google search results?
- Searchability – Is the information accessible within three clicks?
- Usability – Is the information easy to understand and apply?
- Readability – Is the language used above a Grade 7 level?
- Availability – Is the information available in languages other than English?
- Acceptability – Is the information culturally relatable and available in multiple formats?
Overall, we found gaps in accessible online health information for women from CALD backgrounds and with low health literacy. Only five of the 16 reviewed websites had information in languages other than English – mostly text-based factsheets. The Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Website and the Victorian Government’s health website contained the most accessible information.
Research translation via translated health information videos
In response to this research, the CRE WaND team is developing a series of short videos on key health topics. CRE WaND’s subject matter experts developed the scripts and health messaging with support from translation experts at Ethnolink, and video production partners, Punchy Media.
The first videos produced focus on menopause. Menopause is a topic that features heavily in our research, and Jean Hailes for Women’s Health also reports that women want more information on menopause. The videos were produced with our translation partner, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and with funding from the Victorian Government Department of Health and the National Health and Medical Research Council. We consulted with women who might use the videos and worked with Ethnolink to simplify the language and translate the videos initially into Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese.
The menopause videos are:
- What is menopause (English, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese)
- What is early menopause (English)
- How to stay healthy after menopause (English, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese)
Joint health videos
A second series of videos on joint pain is now available on the CRE WaND website. The development and translation of these videos were made possible through NHMRC Investigator Grant 1194829, awarded to Professor Flavia Cicuttini at Monash University.
The joint health videos cover:
- Slowing weight gain will reduce joint pain (English, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese)
- How to maintain weight for joint health (English, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese)
- Avoiding unnecessary imaging for back and joint pain (English, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese)
- Avoiding opioids for back and joint pain (English, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese)
- Healthy joints, healthy heart (English, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese)
Work is underway to develop a third series of videos on mental health.
The first two videos – What is menopause and How to stay healthy after menopause – received over 23,000 views on the Jean Hailes YouTube channel. The Vietnamese and Chinese translations each received between 10-20 thousand views.
We are now in the process of gathering feedback on the videos via surveys and focus groups before distributing them more widely in the community.
Bandyopadhyay, M., Stanzel, K., Hammarberg, K., Hickey, M. and Fisher, J. (2022), Accessibility of web-based health information for women in midlife from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or with low health literacy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 46: 269-274. DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.13192
NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Women and Non-communicable Diseases: Prevention and Detection
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The University of Queensland,
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Herston, QLD, 4006