Are sexual health survey items understood as intended by African and Asian migrants to Australia? Methods, results and recommendations for qualitative pretesting
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© Authors. This article has been accepted for publication in BMJ Open following peer review and can also be viewed on the journal’s website at http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049010.
Introduction: More research and policy action are needed to improve migrant health in areas such as sexual health and blood-borne viruses (SHBBV). While Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice Surveys (KAPS) can inform planning, there are no SHBBV KAPS suitable for use across culturally and linguistically diverse contexts. This study pretests one instrument among people born in Sub-Saharan Africa, South-East and North-East Asia living in Australia.
Methods: Employees of multicultural organisations were trained to collect data over three rounds using a hybrid qualitative pretesting method. Two researchers independently coded data. Researchers made revisions to survey items after each round. Responses to feedback questions in the final survey were analysed.
Results: Sixty-two participants pretested the survey. Issues were identified in all three rounds of pretesting. Of the 77 final survey respondents who responded to a survey experience question, 21% agreed and 3% strongly agreed with the statement ‘I found it hard to understand some questions/words’.
Conclusion: It is essential to pretest SHBBV surveys in migrant contexts. We offer the following pretesting guidance: (1) large samples are needed in heterogeneous populations; (2) intersectionality must be considered; (3) it may be necessary to pretest English language surveys in the participants’ first language; (4) bilingual/bicultural workers must be adequately trained to collect data; (5) results need to be interpreted in the context of other factors, including ethics and research aims; and (6) pretesting should occur over multiple rounds.
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