Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 143–149 | Cite as

What are the Health Needs, Familial and Social Problems of Thai Migrants in a Local Community in Australia? A Focus Group Study

  • Pasitpon Vatcharavongvan
  • Julie Hepworth
  • Joanne Lim
  • John Marley
Original Paper


This study explored the health needs, familial and social problems of Thai migrants in a local community in Brisbane, Australia. Five focus groups with Thai migrants were conducted. The qualitative data were examined using thematic content analysis that is specifically designed for focus group analysis. Four themes were identified: (1) positive experiences in Australia, (2) physical health problems, (3) mental health problems, and (4) familial and social health problems. This study revealed key health needs related to chronic disease and mental health, major barriers to health service use, such as language skills, and facilitating factors, such as the Thai Temple. We concluded that because the health needs, familial and social problems of Thai migrants were complex and culture bound, the development of health and community services for Thai migrants needs to take account of the ways in which Thai culture both negatively impacts health and offer positive solutions to problems.


Thai migrants Health needs assessment Culture Ethnicity Community health promotion 



The authors gratefully acknowledge The Abbot for his continued support of this research study, the members of the Thai community who participated in the focus groups, and the generous assistance of the note-takers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pasitpon Vatcharavongvan
    • 1
  • Julie Hepworth
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joanne Lim
    • 2
  • John Marley
    • 4
  1. 1.Discipline of General PracticeThe University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane & Women’s HospitalBrisbane, HerstonAustralia
  2. 2.School of Nursing and MidwiferyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Primary Health Care ResearchThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Faculty of Health SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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