Problem: Chronic conditions are major health problems for Australian Aboriginal people. Self-management programs can improve health outcomes. However, few health workers are skilled in self-management support and existing programs are not always appropriate in Australian Aboriginal contexts. Design: The goal was to increase the capacity of the Australian health workforce to support Australian Aboriginal people to self-manage their chronic conditions by adapting the Flinders Program of chronic condition self-management support for Australian Aboriginal clients and develop and deliver training for health professionals to implement the program. Strategies for change: Feedback from health professionals highlighted that the Flinders Program assessment and care planning tools needed to be adapted to suit Australian Aboriginal contexts. Through consultation with Australian Aboriginal Elders and other experts, the tools were condensed into an illustrated booklet called ‘My Health Story’. Associated training courses and resources focusing on cultural safety and effective engagement were developed. Effects of change: A total of 825 health professionals across Australia was trained and 61 people qualified as accredited trainers in the program, ensuring sustainability. Lessons learnt: The capacity and skills of the Australian health workforce to engage with and support Australian Aboriginal people to self-manage their chronic health problems significantly increased as a result of this project. The adapted tools and training were popular and appreciated by the health care organisations, health professionals and clients involved. The adapted tools have widespread appeal for cultures that do not have Western models of health care and where there are health literacy challenges. My Health Story has already been used internationally.
- Aboriginal and torres strait islander populations
- Care planning
- Chronic condition management