Longitudinal research challenges: Lessons learned from a study of adult literacy campaign’s health impacts

Tuesday, 2 July 2019
Dr Bob Boughton
Jack Beetson
Frances Williamson

In 2019, the authors will complete their work on a longitudinal study into the impact of improved adult literacy on the health and wellbeing of a number of NSW Aboriginal communities who participated in the Literacy for Life Foundations adult literacy campaign. The study, which employs a social determinants of health framework, has been a partnership involving two universities, a national Indigenous Health Research Institute, the national Aboriginal organisation running the campaign and the participating communities. The research design has included surveys, in-depth interviews and data linkage, with community-based research assistants involved in data collection, and the national and local leadership of the campaign involved in planning the study and interpreting the findings. Our presentation will reflect on the complexities and challenges of undertaking rigorous longitudinal evaluative research, with particular reference to the limitations of survey methods with individuals and communities with low rates of literacy and the challenges of data linkage studies.