Migrant voices needed for Australia’s largest women’s health study – UQ News
Thousands of migrant women are needed to provide invaluable data for Australia’s largest and longest-ever women’s health study to ensure it accurately reflects the current population.
The University of Queensland Professor Gita Mishradirector of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Healthsaid the women who provided their information could help make a difference in health guidelines, policies and services that supported their communities.
“Representation in health research is important for women, and especially for women from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds,” Professor Mishra said.
“Clinical guidelines are largely based on data from women of European descent, but this one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate because women have different disease risk factors, different diets, and go through major reproductive events at slightly different ages.”
The Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH), also known as Women’s Health Australia to its participants, seeks to recruit at least 1,000 women born in South, Southeast and North Asian countries. Northeast between 1973 and 1978.
The Australian Government’s Department of Health funds the ALSWH which is jointly run by UQ and Newcastle University.
Since 1996, the study has followed more than 57,000 Australian women across four age groups: born in 1989-95, 1973-78, 1946-51 and 1921-26.
Their data provides invaluable insight into women’s health and has informed federal and state government policy on a wide range of issues.
While the bands were representative of the general population of women at the time, changes in immigration to Australia have altered the cultural landscape of the people.
ALSWH Deputy Director Professor Deb Loxton, of Newcastle University and the Hunter Medical Research Institute, said it was exciting to welcome more women to this important project.
“The face of Australia changes every year as we welcome people from other countries,” Prof Loxton said.
“The women in our study represented a great snapshot of women in 1996, but we need to make sure we represent women as they are in 2022, which means asking more women to participate in the study.”
Participants are required to take a short online survey every few years to allow researchers to track changes in their health and well-being over time.
To be eligible for the study, women must be born between 1973 and 1978 and have a Medicare card.
We are particularly looking for women from these countries to participate in the study: China, Japan, Macao, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka.
Women who wish to participate in the study can find more information on the ALSWH website.