‘Not everybody is an internet person’: Barriers for menopause-related health literacy among immigrant women from the Horn of Africa nations

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Abstract

Issue addressed: Changes in health require new learning. There are increased risks of chronic noncommunicable diseases after menopause and positive health behaviour during the peri-menopausal years and beyond are crucial for a healthy postmenopausal life. In order to implement health promotion messages, women require adequate health literacy skills in order to achieve better health and access to appropriate health care. Methods: This qualitative study explored menopause-related health literacy and experiences of menopause-related health care using semi-structured interviews with women from the Horn of Africa nations who had migrated to Melbourne, Australia. Results: Participants viewed menopause as a normal life phase and did not see the need for accessing menopause-related information and care. Limited education, low literacy and being unfamiliar with the internet were barriers to health literacy. Participants' preferred health care providers who could converse in their first language, but regretted their lack of proactive engagement in providing menopause-related information. Conclusion: Primary health care providers need to be aware that immigrant women from the Horn of Africa nations have poor health literacy and may be unaware of the benefits of positive health behaviours during and after menopause. Offering menopause-related health promotion opportunistically may lead to better postmenopausal health for this group of women. So what?: Health promotion and education programs codesigned with community stakeholders may be effective in engaging immigrant communities to improve menopause-related health literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Volume32
Issue numberS1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • health behaviour
  • health literacy
  • health promotion
  • immigrant women
  • menopause
  • midlife

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