The Experiences of Older Chinese Migrants with Chronic Diseases during COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia

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The aim of the study was to understand older Chinese migrants’ perceptions of social cohesion and access to health to manage chronic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. This study employed a qualitative descriptive study design. Participants were recruited from a Chinese community organisation in an Australian state. Data were collected via online interviews with participants using Zoom and WeChat Apps. A semistructured interview guide informed by the social determinants of health framework was used in the interview. The data collection period was between August and October, 2020. Thematic analysis was used in data analysis. In total, 24 participants including 17 older Chinese migrants with noncommunicable chronic diseases and seven family carers participated in the study. Of the 17 older Chinese migrants, 10 were male and seven were female. Their mean age was 76 years (ranging from 65 to 86) and they spoke little English. All seven carers were females with a mean age of 61 years (ranging from 35 to 76). Three main themes were identified in the study and described as: increased loneliness, anxiety, and depression; increased difficulties in accessing healthcare services; and various experiences in telehealth. In conclusion, older Chinese-Australians who spoke little English and lived with chronic diseases experienced the loss of their only social capital during the COVID-19 pandemic. They faced language barriers for accessing and utilising primary care to manage their chronic diseases when these care services were changed into telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings provide a clear direction for stakeholders to take actions to address the lack of social cohesion and health inequalities for the most vulnerable populations in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8264936
Number of pages10
JournalHealth and Social Care in The Community
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2023


  • older Chinese migrants
  • chronic diseases
  • COVID-19 pandemic


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