Abstract: Background Access to meaningful health information is limited in remote regions of Australia where Indigenous languages and culture are strong but the prevalence of chronic conditions is extremely high. This qualitative study aimed to support and understand the development of an educational approach and resources that evolved in response to an identified need to improve communication in prevention and management of chronic conditions for Yol?u (Aboriginal people of North East Arnhemland). Methods Within a culturally responsive research design, data was gathered through participant observation and semi-structured interviews with both educators and community members. An iterative and continuous process of data collection and inductive analysis, exploring key elements of the process as it evolved, supported the Project Team to modify and refine their approach as the project progressed. Results A high level of community participation and control was a critical element of project. Collaboration between Yol?u educators and community experts, with culturally competent support from other health educators, enabled Yol?u educators to develop the skills and confidence to share health information in ways that could not be achieved by outsiders. Yol?u and biomedical knowledges were integrated to build and share meaningful in-depth (not simplified or directive) oral explanations in local languages using culturally responsive communication processes. The urgent need for ongoing, sufficient and meaningful health education was a consistent and recurring theme in this context where chronic conditions are having a devastating impact. Conclusion Sustained and equitable access to meaningful information, using a culturally responsive approach led by community educators, is crucial to improve health literacy and to enable genuinely informed decisions in prevention and management of chronic conditions. Long-term funding and culturally responsive support are also needed to improve equity of access to health information for those who do not share the language and culture of the majority population.
Lowell, Anne, Maypilama, Elaine Läwurrpa, Gundjarranbuy, Rosemary, 2020, Finding a pathway and making it strong: learning from Yolŋu about meaningful health education in a remote Indigenous Australian context, Journal Article, viewed 09 December 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=19301.