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Bridging the Gap News and Publications

Mother and Daughter

Recent Publications

Improving the ascertainment of refugee background people in health data sets and health services. Australian Health Review 2017

This paper reports how women of refugee background can be identified in maternity and early childhood health services using four routinely collected data items, and a set of questions as a guide for clinicians to use in consultations.

Cultural safety and belonging for refugee background women attending group pregnancy care: an Australian qualitative study. Birth 2017

Reports Karen women’s experiences of  participating in the first year of Healthy Happy Beginnings, concluding that the inter-agency group pregnancy care model has potential to increase women’s access to pregnancy care, sense of belonging and cultural safety using services, preparation for birth and care of a newborn.

Bridging the language gap: a co-designed quality improvement project to engage professional interpreters for women duing labour. Australian Health Review 2016

Reports the learnings and achievements of the Language in Labour initiative, a co-designed multi-faceted project that resulted in a three-fold increase in the number of women who had a professional interpreter in labour.

Improving health literacy in refugee populations. MJA 2016; 204(1):9

A commentary on the importance of health literacy to ensure that people of refugee background have the confidence, support and resources to manage their health.

Bridging the Gap: using an interrupted time series design to evaluate systems reform addressing refugee maternal and child health inequalities. Implementation Science 2015; 10:62

This paper tells the story of the evidence behind Bridging the Gap, how the partnership was formed and the iterative, co-designed approach to quality improvement. The evaluation including the time-series design and process measures are also described. 

Having a baby in a new country: the views and experience of Afghan families and stakeholders

The Bridging the Gap program builds on the findings of the Having a baby in a new country study undertaken by Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture.

Findings from the study are reported in several publications:

Findings from the study are reported in several publications:

How do Australian maternity and early childhood health services identify and respond to the settlement experience and social context of refugee background families? BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 2014; 14:348.

Promoting the inclusion of Afghan women and men in research: reflections from research and community partners involved in implementing a 'proof of concept' project. International Journal for Equity in Health 2015; 14:13

Compromised communication: a qualitative study exploring Afghan families and health professionals experience of interpreting support in Australian maternity care. BMJ Quality & Safety 2015

Fatherhood in a new country: a qualitative study exploring the experiences of Afghan men and implications for health services. Birth 2015

Afghan families and health professionals' access to health information during and after pregnancy. Women and Birth 2019.

Policy and Practice Briefs

PDF iconEngaging professional interpreters during labour policy practice brief 1


Responding to the health literacy needs of refugee background people

Partnerships for change in refugee child and family health

Victorian refugee and asylum seeker health action plan

The Victorian refugee and asylum seeker health action plan 2014-2018 was launched in June 2014.

The Action Plan outlines Victoria's long term strategic vision for how the health system can best meet the health and wellbeing needs of people from refugee backgrounds and asylum seekers.

Bridging the Gap is included in the action plan as a best practice case study.

The Action Plan can be accessed at:

2016-17 State Budget: refugee and asylum seeker health and wellbeing in Victoria

In September 2016 the state government announced new investments for health and human services for people from refugee backgrounds including a boost to language services capacity and new mental health and psychosocial support programs.

In the introduction to the announcement of the budget DHHS notes that:

People from refugee backgrounds show immense courage and resilience to build their lives in a new country. Victoria’s health and human service providers have a vital role to play in helping to restore wellbeing, empower communities and treat people who have survived torture, trauma and human rights violations with dignity, compassion and respect.

A summary is available at: 2016-17 budget launch refugee asylum seeker fact sheet