Working at the interface in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: focussing on the individual health professional and their organisation as a means to address health equity

Annabelle M. Wilson, Janet Kelly, Anthea Magarey, Michelle Jones, Tamara Mackean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience inequity in health outcomes in Australia. Health care interactions are an important starting place to seek to address this inequity. The majority of health professionals in Australia do not identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and the health care interaction therefore becomes an example of working in an intercultural space (or interface). It is therefore critical to consider how health professionals may maximise the positive impact within the health care interaction by skilfully working at the interface. Methods: Thirty-five health professionals working in South Australia were interviewed about their experiences working with Aboriginal people. Recruitment was through purposive sampling. The research was guided by the National Health and Medical Research Council Values and Ethics for undertaking research with Aboriginal communities. Critical social research was used to analyse data. Results: Interviews revealed two main types of factors influencing the experience of non-Aboriginal health professionals working with Aboriginal people at the interface: the organisation and the individual. Within these two factors, a number of sub-factors were found to be important including organisational culture, organisational support, accessibility of health services and responding to expectations of the wider health system (organisation) and personal ideology and awareness of colonisation (individual). Conclusions: A health professional's practice at the interface cannot be considered in isolation from individual and organisational contexts. It is critical to consider how the organisational and individual factors identified in this research will be addressed in health professional training and practice, in order to maximise the ability of health professionals to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and therefore contribute to addressing health equity.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Health professional
  • Indigenous
  • Interface
  • Practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{6dfe81b3bcad45f283a2c3d29f7f3beb,
title = "Working at the interface in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: focussing on the individual health professional and their organisation as a means to address health equity",
abstract = "Background: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience inequity in health outcomes in Australia. Health care interactions are an important starting place to seek to address this inequity. The majority of health professionals in Australia do not identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and the health care interaction therefore becomes an example of working in an intercultural space (or interface). It is therefore critical to consider how health professionals may maximise the positive impact within the health care interaction by skilfully working at the interface. Methods: Thirty-five health professionals working in South Australia were interviewed about their experiences working with Aboriginal people. Recruitment was through purposive sampling. The research was guided by the National Health and Medical Research Council Values and Ethics for undertaking research with Aboriginal communities. Critical social research was used to analyse data. Results: Interviews revealed two main types of factors influencing the experience of non-Aboriginal health professionals working with Aboriginal people at the interface: the organisation and the individual. Within these two factors, a number of sub-factors were found to be important including organisational culture, organisational support, accessibility of health services and responding to expectations of the wider health system (organisation) and personal ideology and awareness of colonisation (individual). Conclusions: A health professional's practice at the interface cannot be considered in isolation from individual and organisational contexts. It is critical to consider how the organisational and individual factors identified in this research will be addressed in health professional training and practice, in order to maximise the ability of health professionals to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and therefore contribute to addressing health equity.",
keywords = "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Health professional, Indigenous, Interface, Practice",
author = "Wilson, {Annabelle M.} and Janet Kelly and Anthea Magarey and Michelle Jones and Tamara Mackean",
year = "2016",
month = "11",
day = "17",
doi = "10.1186/s12939-016-0476-8",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "1--12",
journal = "International journal for equity in health",
issn = "1475-9276",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

Working at the interface in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health : focussing on the individual health professional and their organisation as a means to address health equity. / Wilson, Annabelle M.; Kelly, Janet; Magarey, Anthea; Jones, Michelle; Mackean, Tamara.

In: International Journal for Equity in Health, Vol. 15, No. 1, 17.11.2016, p. 1-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Working at the interface in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

T2 - International journal for equity in health

AU - Wilson, Annabelle M.

AU - Kelly, Janet

AU - Magarey, Anthea

AU - Jones, Michelle

AU - Mackean, Tamara

PY - 2016/11/17

Y1 - 2016/11/17

N2 - Background: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience inequity in health outcomes in Australia. Health care interactions are an important starting place to seek to address this inequity. The majority of health professionals in Australia do not identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and the health care interaction therefore becomes an example of working in an intercultural space (or interface). It is therefore critical to consider how health professionals may maximise the positive impact within the health care interaction by skilfully working at the interface. Methods: Thirty-five health professionals working in South Australia were interviewed about their experiences working with Aboriginal people. Recruitment was through purposive sampling. The research was guided by the National Health and Medical Research Council Values and Ethics for undertaking research with Aboriginal communities. Critical social research was used to analyse data. Results: Interviews revealed two main types of factors influencing the experience of non-Aboriginal health professionals working with Aboriginal people at the interface: the organisation and the individual. Within these two factors, a number of sub-factors were found to be important including organisational culture, organisational support, accessibility of health services and responding to expectations of the wider health system (organisation) and personal ideology and awareness of colonisation (individual). Conclusions: A health professional's practice at the interface cannot be considered in isolation from individual and organisational contexts. It is critical to consider how the organisational and individual factors identified in this research will be addressed in health professional training and practice, in order to maximise the ability of health professionals to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and therefore contribute to addressing health equity.

AB - Background: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience inequity in health outcomes in Australia. Health care interactions are an important starting place to seek to address this inequity. The majority of health professionals in Australia do not identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and the health care interaction therefore becomes an example of working in an intercultural space (or interface). It is therefore critical to consider how health professionals may maximise the positive impact within the health care interaction by skilfully working at the interface. Methods: Thirty-five health professionals working in South Australia were interviewed about their experiences working with Aboriginal people. Recruitment was through purposive sampling. The research was guided by the National Health and Medical Research Council Values and Ethics for undertaking research with Aboriginal communities. Critical social research was used to analyse data. Results: Interviews revealed two main types of factors influencing the experience of non-Aboriginal health professionals working with Aboriginal people at the interface: the organisation and the individual. Within these two factors, a number of sub-factors were found to be important including organisational culture, organisational support, accessibility of health services and responding to expectations of the wider health system (organisation) and personal ideology and awareness of colonisation (individual). Conclusions: A health professional's practice at the interface cannot be considered in isolation from individual and organisational contexts. It is critical to consider how the organisational and individual factors identified in this research will be addressed in health professional training and practice, in order to maximise the ability of health professionals to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and therefore contribute to addressing health equity.

KW - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

KW - Health professional

KW - Indigenous

KW - Interface

KW - Practice

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84995527925&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12939-016-0476-8

DO - 10.1186/s12939-016-0476-8

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 1

EP - 12

JO - International journal for equity in health

JF - International journal for equity in health

SN - 1475-9276

IS - 1

ER -