Healthcare professionals’ cultural safety practices for indigenous peoples in the acute care setting – a scoping review

Ali Moloney, Lynne Stuart, Yingyan Chen, Frances Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Background: For Indigenous Peoples the disparities in health status are largely associated with the direct social determinants of invasion and colonisation, marginalisation, intergenerational traumas, and lack of conscious government policy to address these ongoing effects. There is currently limited evidence in the literature on what Cultural Safety practices mean in acute care settings. 

Objective: We aimed to understand the extent and type of evidence in relation to current knowledge and evidence regarding Cultural Safety practices for Indigenous Peoples in acute care settings. 

Design: This is a scoping review. 

Methods: We searched six databases in consultation with a librarian experienced in health research. 

Results: A total of 16 papers were included in the scoping review. Four main barriers to Cultural Safety in practice were identified; Among the included studies, only one quality improvement study reported an intervention, which improved culturally safe care. 

Conclusion: The four barriers identified each have a variable impact on Indigenous Peoples’ health outcomes and are dependent upon the circumstances and experiences of both Indigenous Peoples and healthcare professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-293
Number of pages22
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number4-5
Early online date30 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • acute care settings
  • colonisation
  • cultural safety
  • delivery of healthcare
  • health status
  • healthcare inequities
  • healthcare professionals
  • Indigenous Peoples


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