Participatory Research Methods for Investigating Digital Health Literacy in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities
Keywords:Consumer participation, Culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Maternity, Design probes, Digital health, Privacy, Self-tracking, Health literacy
Digital technologies and pre/peri-natal apps are transforming maternity care as women use consumer-oriented communications technologies to obtain information and support. These technologies have introduced a new set of politics into health communication, as information asymmetries embedded into apps and their platforms disrupt traditional concepts of health literacy and consumer participation that have been key concepts in community health advocacy. The development of cultural safety and cultural competence has been one impetus for health professionals to adapt their models of care to address information and support gaps for service users from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, by asking clinicians to address the operations of power at work in their cultural norms of practice. However, consumer apps appropriate the cultural interface that has historically been managed by clinicians, raising questions about how participatory these technologies can be for women from marginalised groups. Given the black-boxed nature of many health technologies that by design do not enable adequate description by end users, new modes of research are necessary to both stimulate dialogue on health literacy and health participation as a part of a discovery process around CALD women’s experiences and perceptions.
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