• Arabic-speaking;
  • disease information;
  • medicines information;
  • need;
  • older population;
  • written information

Aim:  To explore access, satisfaction, awareness and needs for medicines and disease information (MADI) sources for older Arabic-speaking Australians.

Method:  Five focus groups were conducted (in Arabic) with 29 participants with a chronic disease, aged over 65 years, and unable to speak or read English fluently. Discussions were audiotape recorded, simultaneously interpreted into English, transcribed verbatim and content analysed.

Results:  Arabic-speaking general practitioners were identified as the main source of MADI, despite dissatisfaction with their counselling. Written Arabic MADI was not accessed by participants, who revealed low English and Arabic literacy levels and a reliance on family members to act as interpreters. Male participants were more concerned and active about their health and medicine information than female participants.

Conclusions:  This study highlighted limited availability and access to Arabic MADI for older Arabic-speaking Australians, with reliance on Arabic-speaking health-care professionals for information and family members as interpreters. An accessible and sustainable system for MADI is required.