Effectiveness of a bilingual heart health program for Greek-Australian women

Wendy J. Brown*, Christina Lee, Rebecca Oyomopito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Women from Southern European countries have the highest body mass index and physical inactivity levels of any of Australia's migrant groups. Health promotion programs aimed at the wider community often fail to reach these women because of language and cultural barriers. The project examined the impact of a 12-week minimal-intervention heart health program on a community sample of Greek-Australian women. The program, conducted in a bilingual, interactive format and held in a Greek community centre, aimed to improve cardiovascular health and decrease obesity by increasing physical activity and reducing dietary saturated fat intake. Participants (n = 26) showed significant decreases in body mass index, skinfold measurements, exercising heart rates and diastolic blood pressure, which were well maintained at follow-up; these changes were not observed in a comparison group (n = 22). The project demonstrated that health promotion programs tailored specifically for groups of women from non English-speaking backgrounds (NESB) can be effective in modifying cardiovascular risk factors if an effort is made to address sociocultural and linguistic barriers to participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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