Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, August 2016
In 2016, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health conducted the second annual Women’s Health Survey to understand the health information needs and behaviours of women living in Australia.
The survey set out to explore the health information needs of women and also identify trends in health behaviours, body image, mental health and health screening behaviours.
The 2016 Jean Hailes Women’s Health Survey was a national survey of 3236 women and health professionals of differing ages, cultural backgrounds and from a range of metropolitan, regional, rural and remote locations across Australia.
A selection of the key findings are outlined below:
Health concerns and information needs
• Women reported five main health concerns. These health concerns included weight
management, female-specific cancers, mental and emotional health, menopause and chronic pain.
• Nearly half of all women reported that they wanted more information on healthy eating and nutrition. Women also reported they wanted more information on mental health, weight management and memory.
• Women residing in metropolitan locations reported different health information needs to
women in regional and rural Australia.
Health checks and screening
• On average women visited the doctor 3-5 times per year, with only a small number of women not visiting the doctor at all in the last 12 months.
• Most women felt confident to ask their doctor questions and discuss health issues that were of concern. Only a small group reported that they were not confident to ask questions.
• Health professionals reported family violence, followed by painful sex and sexual health problems as health topics that their female patients found difficult to discuss.
• Most women reported engaging in general health checks as well as pap screening, breast screening and bowel screening. However, many women reported that they were not engaging in sexual health screening for STIs.