Health Diaries in a Rural Australian Study Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors designed a study around the use of health diaries comprising both open- and closed-ended questions and kept over a 16-week period by 118 rural and remote-dwelling families in Victoria, Australia. Participants documented their use of health services, episodes of illness, actions taken to keep healthy, and reflections on services and programs. In this article, the authors report on the health diary method. They discuss the qualitative ways in which the participants used their study involvement to enrich their lives: accessing health information and advice, furthering their concerns about rural health, and using the research process for social support. The authors discuss issues surrounding the rural and remote context of the study and the length of time over which the diaries were kept.

publication date

  • March 2003