Vitamin D deficiency awareness among African migrant women residing in high-rise public housing in Melbourne, Australia: a qualitative study

Alana Pirrone, Teresa Capetola, Elisha Riggs, Andre Renzaho

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The aims of this study were: 1) to explore the individual perceptions, experience and understandings of vitamin D deficiency (VDD) amongst African migrant women residing in high-rise public housing, 2) to identify the most useful sources of information about VDD among this population, and 3) to document the barriers and enablers to addressing VDD. The Health Belief Model was used to guide the study. Convenience sampling was used with women living in particular high-rise public housing. Five focus group discussions were conducted (n=30). Thematic analysis was used to code and categorise the data to develop a deeper, conceptual understanding of the issue. We found that participants were aware of VDD and could identify the impacts that VDD had on their health. Barriers to addressing VDD included the women s: 1) living conditions in Australia, 2) risk of skin cancer, and 3) cultural roles in the family. The most positive strategy for preventing and addressing VDD was peer information sharing. This study has highlighted the significant need for health promotion strategies to combat VDD in this population. Future health promoting public health strategies for this population should encompass communitybased peer education programs. This study demonstrates the critical role of qualitative inquiry in gaining a deeper understanding of VDD in a particular migrant community. It is clear that this issue requires a coordinated solution that must involve the community themselves. Health care professionals must take into consideration the multiple barriers that exist to address VDD which is a significant public health issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292 - 299
Number of pages8
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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