A cross-sectional study of COVID-19 impacts in culturally and linguistically diverse communities in greater Western Sydney, Australia.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Public Health, 2021, 21, (1), pp. 2081
Issue Date:
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BACKGROUND: This study explored the experiences of people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Greater Western Sydney, Australia, in selected livelihood items during COVID-19 and the perceived impacts of the pandemic on their lives. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was used to collect data between 25 August and 30 September 2020 among CALD communities in Greater Western Sydney. Information was collected on respondents' experiences in selected livelihood items, including housing, finances, safety, accessing social services and activities, finding work, food, clothing, and relationships during COVID-19 and the pandemic's perceived impact on their lives. Descriptive and non-parametric statistics were used to analyze the data. RESULTS: One hundred and ninety-eight participants were included in the study, 45.5% male and 54.5% female. Many respondents reported their experience in the selected livelihood items as "worse" during COVID-19 at the time of the study. The feeling of safety was most disrupted, with 56% of respondents rating their experience as "worse". This experience was followed by accessing social support group activities, with 50% of respondents stating their experience of using this service had worsened. The experience of accessing social services and financial situation was rated as "worse" by 41% of respondents. Experience in finding work, housing, and attending schools were all rated as "worse". The median perceived impact of COVID-19 among respondents who rated their experience in the selected livelihood items as "worse" were statistically higher than those who rated their experience as the "same". Respondents' characteristics also predicted the perceived impact of COVID-19. Unemployed respondents were 3.53 (95% CI: 1.16-10.73, p = 0.026) times more likely to perceive the impact of COVID-19 on their lives as "high" compared to employed respondents. CONCLUSIONS: The finding demonstrates that the "high" number of respondents had the same situation as before COVID-19 and highlights the level of resilience exhibited by CALD communities in the Australian context. It also suggests that services in Australia were good during the pandemic. However, enhanced policy and initiatives designed to meet the CALD population's needs are required, particularly in the areas most reported to have been disrupted by changes associated with COVID-19.
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