Incorporating indigenous knowledge in health services: a consumer partnership framework

R. Kirkham, L. J. Maple-Brown, N. Freeman, B. Beaton, R. Lamilami, M. Hausin, A. M. Puruntatemeri, P. Wood, S. Signal, S. W. Majoni, A. Cass, J. T. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Healthcare policy and planning should be informed by a partnership between healthcare services and healthcare users. This is critical for people who access care frequently such as indigenous Australians who have a high burden of chronic kidney disease. This study aimed to explore the most appropriate ways of enhancing services by incorporating renal patients' expectations and satisfaction of care in Australia's Northern Territory. Study design: This is a participatory action research. Methods: Six aboriginal health users with end-stage kidney disease were recruited to form an Indigenous Reference Group. This group met bimonthly between April and November 2017 and meetings took the same structure as a focus group. Findings from these meetings were presented to health policy and planners in a feedback loop implemented by the study. Results: This framework enabled indigenous knowledge to guide the project, indigenous priorities to be identified in this context and timely feedback of information to inform the strengths and priorities of the health service. Changes were recognised and addressed immediately. Conclusions: This qualitative research framework is a useful mechanism for providing local data to inform patient-centred health system change as expressed by health users. We recommend this consumer partnership framework be embedded into existing operational structures to support the ongoing sustainability of this group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-162
Number of pages4
JournalPublic Health
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Consumer partnership
  • Health system change
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Indigenous reference group
  • Participatory action research


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