Using Indigenist and Indigenous methodologies to connect to deeper understandings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' quality of life

Elaine Kite, Carol Davy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The lack of a common description makes measuring the concept of quality of life (QoL) a challenge. Whether QoL incorporates broader social features or is attributed to health conditions, the diverse range of descriptions applied by various disciplines has resulted in a concept that is multidimensional and vague. The variety of theoretical conceptualisations of QoL confounds and confuses even the most astute. Measuring QoL in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations is even more challenging. Instruments commonly developed and used to measure QoL are often derived from research methodologies shaped by Western cultural perspectives. Often they are simply translated for use among culturally and linguistically diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This has implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations whose perceptions of health are derived from within their specific cultures, value systems and ways of knowing and being. Interconnections and relationships between themselves, their communities, their environment and the natural and spiritual worlds are complex. The way in which their QoL is currently measured indicates that very little attention is given to the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' beliefs or the ways in which those beliefs shape or give structure and meaning to their health and their lives. The use of Indigenist or Indigenous methodologies in defining what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples believe gives quality to their lives is imperative. These methodologies have the potential to increase the congruency between their perceptions of QoL and instruments to measure it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-194
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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