A new report shares British South Asians’ views on COVID-19 health information. The research was carried out by Oxford University and The University of Leicester. The Dipex Charity provided a catalyst film based on video interviews with people from ethnic minority groups about health and we also designed the report.
In the UK, the pandemic disproportionately affected British South Asians. As the report explains, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) recommended “qualitative engagement work with minority groups to understand how government messages around COVID-19 were received and their impacts”.
The research team ran a series of workshops in order to explore British South Asians’ views of COVID-19 health information. Participants talked about:
- Where they got information about Covid
- How they decided whether to trust the information
- Their ideas for providing better health information for British South Asian groups
Healthtalk.org video as health information for British South Asians
Workshop participants watched a 6-minute video, made by the Dipex Charity, about South Asian experiences of Diabetes and emotional health. The groups gave their views about the video:
“To break taboos is a big thing because in our community we have a lot of misperceptions and kind of keeping things to ourselves, not sharing with other people. I don’t know how we can change people’s attitudes on that….It’s quite important. We need people to be open… to talk about things…to share with other people what they are, what problems they have….There are people who like to talk to their own people in their own language, in their own settings, and that helps a lot. “
“If we had videos like these, they could really help our communities. And if someone [a patient] talks about, like ‘this happened to me and now I’ve come through it’, that would be even more helpful because if that person can recover [from depression], then I could also get better in the same way.“
Lessons from the pandemic
The report, by Dr Suman Prinjha et al, shares the findings of these workshops with participant quotes. Furthermore, it suggests what lessons can be learned from the pandemic in order to produce health messages with minority groups in future. This could include conditions that disproportionately affect South Asians as well as uptake of the Covid vaccine among British South Asians.