Tau fifine Niue and the use of digital health tools: An intergenerational view

Main Article Content

Amio Matenga-Ikihele
Rosie Dobson
Fuafiva Fa'alau
Robyn Whittaker
Judith McCool

Keywords

Pacific peoples, Niue women, health and wellbeing, digital health tools, mHealth, digital inclusion, digital health literacy

Abstract

Introduction: Digital health technologies are rapidly changing the landscape of how healthcare is being delivered globally.Many international health systems are using digital technology to assist with delivery of information and  healthcare, to enable more affordable, accessible, and acceptable care to manage key health priorities pertaining to that population.  The key to success for any digital health approach for Pacific and ethnic-specific communities is ensuring digital inclusion is considered alongside the wider influences of health (family, cultural, economic, social, environmental). Digital technology could be the enabler to reduce inequities in health outcomes in  some populations.  The aim of this paper is to explore how an intergenerational group of tau fifine Niue (Niue women) use digital health tools for health and wellbeing.


Methods: Tutala (similar to talanoa in the Samaon language) a culturally appropriate method of conversation with Niue communities was used to guide the research approach with a tau fifine Niue (n=40).  Six group tutala were undertaken with tau afine (young women), tau mamatua fifine (mothers), and tau mamatua tupuna fifine (older women).


Results: Three overarching themes were identified: (1) convenience of mHealth tools; (2) access to health information and resources; and (3) digital disconnection.  There were differences in the adoption and use of digital tools for health-related purposes, which varied from using the internet, text messaging and health monitoring apps.  Although tau afine and tau mamatua fifine were more likely to utilise digital health tools, it was clear not all tau mamatua tupuna fifine experienced the same benefits.


Conclusion: Supporting digital inclusion, digital skills, and digital health literacy for tau fifine Niue using an intergenerational approach can translate into health benefits for Niue families and communities. As more and more health services turn todigital technology to assist with delivering health information and care, it is critically important digital technology is delivered in an equitable way that benefits all people, including multi-ethnic populations in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

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