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|Title:||Increasing community participation in an Aboriginal health service|
|Citation:||Australian Journal of Rural Health, 2008; 16(5):297-301|
|Sonia Champion, Christine Franks, Judy Taylor|
|Abstract:||To increase Aboriginal participation with mainstream health professionals in an Aboriginal health and well-being centre.Participatory Action Research using Aboriginal traditional symbolism to depict aspects of the research process, interview surveys and a document review.A regional town with 629 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents and a newly established Aboriginal health and well-being centre (Nunyara).Thirty Aboriginal community members were interviewed about their involvement with Nunyara and their health issues. Participants were selected through purposive 'pass-me-around' sampling to ensure that all family groups were included.The results are presented in two areas: the structure of the Aboriginal community that affects participation and community views about health issues. Aboriginal people living in the town come from 10 or more different language groups and relate almost exclusively within their own groups. Activities at Nunyara were seen as individual family group events and not for everyone. Aboriginal community participants had a broad view of health as they reported problems that included smoking and alcohol use. Almost all would like more involvement in health issues through Nunyara.Aboriginal community members are willing to get involved in health issues in collaboration with Nunyara. However, fundamental to increasing participation is to bring people together from different family groups and increase social cohesion. This can be done through developing relationships with groups enabling different points of view to be heard and valued.|
|Keywords:||Aboriginal health; action research; community development; primary health care; rural health.|
|Appears in Collections:||General Practice publications|
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