Assessing the Acceptability and Usability of an Internet-Based Intelligent Health Assistant Developed for Use among Turkish Migrants: Results of a Study Conducted in Bremen, Germany

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Dec 3;12(12):15339-51. doi: 10.3390/ijerph121214987.


The Internet offers a new chance for health professionals to reach population groups not usually reached through traditional information channels, for example, migrants. Criticism has, however, been raised that most health information on the Internet is not easy to read and lacks cultural sensitivity. We developed an Internet-based bilingual health assistant especially for Turkish migrants in Germany, tested its acceptance, and evaluated its usability in a participatory research design with families with and without Turkish migrant background. The interactive health assistant covered the following: nutrition, physical activity, overweight, diabetes, as well as pregnancy and pregnancy support. The idea of an Internet-based health assistant was generally accepted by all participants of the evaluation study, as long as it would be incorporated in existing appliances, such as smartphones. The bilingual nature of the assistant was welcomed especially by first generation migrants, but migrant participants also indicated that not all health information needed to be made available in a culture-specific way. The participants were least satisfied with the nutrition component, which they felt should include recipes and ingredients from the culture of origin, as well as specific aspects of food preparation.

Keywords: information; internet; migrant health; prevention; technology.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Culturally Competent Care / ethnology
  • Culturally Competent Care / methods*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilingualism
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Qualitative Research
  • Turkey / ethnology
  • Young Adult