Importance of native language in a population-based health survey among ethnic Chinese in Australia
Article first published online: 6 AUG 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 32, Issue 4, pages 322–324, August 2008
How to Cite
Wong, K. C. and Wang, Z. (2008), Importance of native language in a population-based health survey among ethnic Chinese in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 32: 322–324. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2008.00248.x
- Issue published online: 6 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 6 AUG 2008
- Submitted: January 2008 Revision Requested: February 2008 Accepted: April 2008
- native language;
- health survey;
- health service utilisation
Objective: To assess the impacts of survey languages on participation and representativeness of the study subjects in a health survey in a Chinese community in Australia.
Method: A random sample of 500 ethnic Chinese in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia was surveyed during November 2005 to February 2006 by using a bilingual survey questionnaire in their preferred languages, i.e. English or Chinese.
Results: 210 questionnaires were returned. Two-thirds of the participants chose to answer the questionnaires in Chinese. Besides being older with relatively lower income, they were more likely to be married, have a Chinese family doctor, and visit a Chinese medicine practitioner. Fewer of them have visited the Diabetes Australia website or read any educational information materials about diabetes.
Conclusions & Implication: The multilingual approach is crucial to improving participation and representativeness of samples from ethnic populations.