Identifying environmental determinants relevant to health and wellbeing in remote Australian Indigenous Communities: A scoping review of grey literature

Amal Chakraborty, Mark Daniel, Natasha J. Howard, Alwin Chong, Nicola Slavin, Alex Brown, Margaret Cargo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The high prevalence of preventable infectious and chronic diseases in Australian Indigenous populations is a major public health concern. Existing research has rarely examined the role of built and socio-political environmental factors relating to remote Indigenous health and wellbeing. This research identified built and socio-political environmental indicators from publicly available grey literature documents locally-relevant to remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia. Existing planning documents with evidence of community input were used to reduce the response burden on Indigenous communities. A scoping review of community-focused planning documents resulted in the identification of 1120 built and 2215 socio-political environmental indicators. Indicators were systematically classified using an Indigenous indicator classification system (IICS). Applying the IICS yielded indicators prominently featuring the “community infrastructure” domain within the built environment, and the “community capacity” domain within the socio-political environment. This research demonstrates the utility of utilizing existing planning documents and a culturally appropriate systematic classification system to consolidate environmental determinants that influence health and disease occurrence. The findings also support understanding of which features of community-level built and socio-political environments amenable to public health and social policy actions might be targeted to help reduce the prevalence of infectious and chronic diseases in Indigenous communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4167
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • Built environment
  • Community capacity
  • Community infrastructure
  • Environmental health
  • Environmental indicators
  • Grey literature
  • Indigenous
  • Public health
  • Public policy
  • Social planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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