Indigenous Australians are disadvantaged in many ways when compared to the majority of the Australian population. In particular, they are more likely to suffer from serious illness and their life expectancy is around 10 years lower than the general population.
In order to address the challenge of improving the health of the indigenous population, the Australian government asked Ipsos-Eureka and their partner in Indigenous Affairs, Winangali Pty Ltd, to research Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s views and attitudes towards healthcare and illness. The key aim was to develop health marketing campaigns targeting Indigenous Australians.
Ipsos-Eureka conducted over 100 focus groups, involving more than 650 Indigenous people. The research also involved interviews with health professionals, to add context and insight to the findings.
Indigenous communities can be both vulnerable and hard-to-reach; a lot of thought had to go into the most effective and ethical way of conducting the groups. Ipsos used peer recruitment and Indigenous moderators in order to gain high quality data in the most ethical way.
Ipsos analysed the data, uncovering common themes and differences that emerged from the groups and used this analysis to form the basis of a report that set out to address the client’s key objectives – namely, to inform the development of effective health marketing campaigns targeting Indigenous Australians.
The scale of this qualitative research with Indigenous communities was unprecedented for the Australian government. It gave them rich insights into the reasons Indigenous peoples have poorer health and provided evidence to guide their health investment decisions and marketing campaigns.