Matching Research Methodology With Australian Indigenous Culture

Matching Research Methodology With Australian Indigenous Culture News

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal

  • Author(s): Gorman, D., Toombs, M.
  • Published: 2009
  • Publisher: Ninti One Limited
  • Volume: 33

Abstract: Indigenous Australians have poorer self-assessed health than non-Indigenous Australians, have higher rates of hospitalisation and higher prevalence rates for many diseases, experience an earlier onset of disease, and suffer a burden of disease that is two and a half times greater. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also suffer higher rates of mental illness, are twice as likely to report high to very high levels of psychological distress, and are likely to have higher General Practitioner encounter rates (Pink & Allbon, 2008). Notwithstanding the above and the obvious need for research to help address these appalling statistics, Aboriginal peoples have long argued that research conducted in their communities does not benefit them or lead to improvements in their health (de Crespigny, Emden, Kowanko & Murray, 2004; Eades SJ, Read AW & Bibbulung Gnarneep Team, 1999; Henry et al., 2004; Holmes, Stewart, Garrow, Anderson & Thorpe, 2002; Hunter, 2001). In this article we look at some of the reasons why research may not have achieved the improvement in Indigenous Australian health that was hoped for, and propose some ideas about how research methodology and Australian Indigenous cultures can be better matched, and therefore be more likely to address their health needs.

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