Accessibility of web-based health information for women in midlife from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or with low health literacy

Mridula Bandyopadhyay, Karin Stanzel, Karin Hammarberg, Martha Hickey, Jane Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To measure the accessibility of Australian web-based health information for midlife women including those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds or with low health literacy. Methods: Search terms relating to midlife health were entered into Google Australia to identify health information websites. The content of the first two results pages was assessed using the European Commission's quality criteria for health websites. Readability was assessed using the Flesch Readability Ease Score with Grade 8 accepted as the average Australian reading level. Results: Sixteen websites were evaluated. Accessibility scores ranged between 0 and 8. The Victorian Government's health website Better Health Channel and the Jean Hailes for Women's Health website contained the most accessible information, each scoring 8, but were both ‘difficult to read’ on the readability test. Four websites included written resources in languages other than English and two had information in audio-visual format in languages other than English. Conclusions: There is a gap in accessible online health information for Australian women from CALD backgrounds or those with low health literacy. Implications for public health: Healthy behaviour changes in midlife may lead to better health in older age. More accessible health information resources are needed for women in midlife from CALD backgrounds and those with low health literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • accessibility
  • culturally and linguistically diverse women
  • health literacy
  • internet and health websites
  • midlife health information

Cite this