Understanding Greeks and health: survey

Volunteers from the Melbourne Greek community aged 18 or over are needed for the survey, which may be accessed online or by mail.

The study will examine attitudes towards orthodox health care and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), with the aim of providing more efficient, effective and goal-orientated planning for future delivery of health-related services to meet the needs of the Greek community in Melbourne and across the state.

Dr Stavros Ktenas, who is conducting the research as part of his doctoral thesis in the School of Health Sciences at RMIT, said understanding inter-generational patterns of attitudes and behaviour was crucial to improving health overall.

“There is currently no data for how and why Melbourne’s Greek community, across multiple generations, use different elements of the health care system,” he said.

“While everyday medicine, offered in the main by general practitioners in the community, provides the backbone of health management for a large number of Australians, CAM therapies are gaining both acceptance and higher use.

“It is estimated that $2.3 billion is spent annually in Australia on CAM-related health services, which are now an established and integral part of the broader health management landscape.

“Attitudes toward and knowledge about health services largely drive the behaviours individuals undertake in managing their own health and wellbeing.

“This study – in the context of a theoretical model for predicting behaviour based on individual and psychological variables – will provide valuable understandings for improving the health behaviours of Greek Australians.”

RMIT Associate Professor Andrew Francis, who is co-chief investigator for the project with Dr Sophia Xenos, said: “This is an extremely important study, as it will inform the development of health care policy and structures for members of the Greek community in Australia.”

Adult members of Melbourne’s Greek community are encouraged to complete a 40-minute online questionnaire available in English or Greek.

For more information or to request print copies of the survey phone (03) 9925 7782 or email.

For interviews: Dr Stavros Ktenas, (03) 9925 7782 or 0416 350 475.

For media enquiries: RMIT University, Marketing and Communications, Gosia Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.

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