APPlying technology to assessments of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Ms Courtney  Pocock1, Dr Jill Freyne2, Ms Sally  Brinkmann1, Dr Dana Bradford2

1Western Health, St Albans , Australia, 2CSIRO, Epping, Australia

Aim: To design an iPad application to assist Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, Podiatrists and Speech Pathologists in completing basic initial assessments with patients from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Method: A user needs analysis was completed encompassing staff focus groups to identify technology and content requirements of the CALD Assist app. A five month impact analysis was conducted on eight acute wards at Western Health incorporating staff satisfaction surveys, structured patient interviews and automatic in-app data log analysis. Pre-trial data was also collected.

Results: The user needs analysis identified 194 phrases and ten languages which were aggregated and refined for inclusion in the final app. During the impact analysis, the app was used by all targeted allied health disciplines, with nine languages accessed over 32 sessions. Results indicate that 80% of staff reported that the phrase content of CALD Assist was appropriate, with 100% of staff reporting that the app was valuable and easy to use. With use of the CALD Assist app, time required to complete an initial assessment reduced from an average of 41 minutes to 15 minutes. Feedback from patients indicated they were satisfied that the app assisted with their communication.

Significance of the findings to Allied Health: The CALD Assist app supports assessment and basic care interactions between Allied Health clinicians and patients from a Non-English speaking background where an interpreter is unavailable. Its cultural specificity and ease of use adds value to the effectiveness of initial assessments and promotes a positive patient experience. The CALD Assist app has attracted significant interest from other disciplines and organisations and has the potential to be modified to meet the needs of other user groups.


Health justice partnership model

Ms Fiona Mc Alinden, Ms Maya Avibegovic

1Monash Health , Cheltenham, Australia

Health justice partnership model – An innovative approach to family violence in a culturally diverse health setting

InTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence: Maya Avdibegovic, CEO

1 Monash Health, 400 Warrigal Rd, Cheltenham, Vic 3192.

2 Maya Avdibegovic, inTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence, GPO Box 2905, Melbourne VIC 3001


Health justice partnerships (HJP) are evolving nationally and this paper outlines the development and evaluation of a HJP between Monash Health and inTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence.

Monash Health and InTouch (InTouch) funded by the Victorian Legal Services Board entered into a partnership to develop an integrated health/legal service for culturally diverse women presenting to a health care facility disclosing current family violence.


Qualitative and quantitative methods we used to collect data sets which include staff surveys, client participant data, health and legal staff interviews and focus group results and a partnership evaluation.


This paper describes the development of a successful health justice partnership and service development methodology including executive support, the role of social work, development of a partnership agreement, staff engagement through education and training and the operations of the legal service within Dandenong Hospital, a highly culturally and linguistically diverse area. In an 18 month period over 550 staff were trained in the identification and response to family violence, 36 women from 9 different linguistic groups received integrated health and legal support services of short and medium term duration. An online staff education module on Family Violence was developed and implemented.

Significance of findings to allied health:

The development of integrated HJP’s are aligned to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Developing on-site legal services has the capacity to improve health outcomes for CALD women and their children.