The Federal Government has put up $8.5 million to continue a long-term women's health study.

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), the nation’s largest health survey, has been funded for another three years.

Partners in the ALSWH, the University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle, will receive $8.58 million ton continue collecting important data on women’s health status and trends from across the nation.

“The study has been integral in guiding national approaches to developing services and supports that are tailored to women’s needs, and provide the best means of realising improved health outcomes for women, at all stages of their life,” says health minister Greg Hunt.

The Minister for Women, Marise Payne, said; “The views of everyday women have never been more valuable. Having such a robust and internationally renowned mechanism for informing national policy on women’s health is incredibly important”.

“The study follows more than 57,000 women who are broadly representative of the entire Australian population, spanning four generations,” she said.

ALSWH’s methodology assesses:

  • Physical and emotional health—including wellbeing, major diagnoses, symptoms
  • Use of health services—GP, specialist and other visits, access, satisfaction
  • Health behaviours and risk factors—diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol, other drugs
  • Time use—including paid and unpaid work, family roles and leisure
  • Socio-demographic factors—location, education, employment, family composition
  • Life stages and key events—such as childbirth, divorce, widowhood

Data from the study is also made available for national and international research use. Since the study began, it has been used in more than 800 scientific publications.

During 2020, the ALSWH has conducted a series of surveys and reports on women's experiences of COVID-19. They include information on living arrangements during the pandemic, involvement in paid work and home-schooling, and general health and wellbeing.

This information will be beneficial in assessing the impacts of COVID-19 on Australian women.