Healing together: research partnerships between rural Aboriginal communities, services and researchers

Healing together: research partnerships between rural Aboriginal communities, services and researchers Conference Paper

15th National Rural Health Conference: Better together!

  • Author(s): Munro, Alice, Shakeshaft, Anthony
  • Secondary Author(s): Coleman, Leanne
  • Published: 2019

Abstract: Objectives: To evaluate three examples of Aboriginal, community-based drug and alcohol programs to better understand the mechanisms of partnerships between academics and Aboriginal communities. Study 1 examined the impact of a drug and alcohol radio advertising campaign in a remote setting. Study 2 evaluated community-led programs implemented across four rural Aboriginal communities from 2012-2015. Study 3 was a three-year community-based participatory research (CBPR) project with a remote Aboriginal drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation service. Methods: Study 1 used survey design; Study 2 adopted a multiple baseline design (MBD) analysis of routinely-collected crime data; Study 3 triangulated 5 years of service data and staff and clients interviews to develop a Healing Model of Care. Results: Study 1: The radio advertising campaign increased community awareness but had a limited impact on formal help-seeking. Study 2: The trends indicated that the programs did not consistently reduce alcohol-related crimes; however, the MBD methodology was identified to be a rigorous approach for future Aboriginal community research. Study 3: Residential rehabilitation clients tended to be older, Aboriginal, criminal justice-referred and have a mental health problem. Interviews identified culture was highly valued, with the location, or “country,” fundamental to the daily practice of, and access to, culture. The Healing Model of Care will help to strengthen future service-delivery in Australia and internationally. Conclusions: CBPR offers a culturally-acceptable model in which academics can work in partnership with, not for, Aboriginal communities, to strengthen the quality of the research and, importantly, improve health outcomes for Aboriginal Australians.

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Suggested Citation
Munro, Alice, Shakeshaft, Anthony, 2019, Healing together: research partnerships between rural Aboriginal communities, services and researchers, Conference Paper, viewed 24 February 2020, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=15786.

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