Principles Relevant to Health Research among Indigenous Communities

Francis O'Donahoo, Kirstin Ross

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Research within Indigenous communities has been criticised for lacking community engagement, for being exploitative, and for poorly explaining the processes of research. To address these concerns, and to ensure ‘best practice’, Jamieson, et al. (2012) recently published a summary of principles outlined by the NHMRC (2003) in “one short, accessible document”. Here we expand on Jamieson et al.’s paper, which while commendable, lacks emphasis on the contribution that communities themselves can make to the research process and how culturally appropriate engagement, can allow this contribution to be assured, specifically with respect to engagement with remote communities. Engagement started before the research proposal is put forward, and continued after the research is completed, has integrity. We emphasise the value of narratives, of understanding cultural and customary behaviours and leadership, the importance of cultural legitimacy, and of the need for time, not just to allow for delays, but to ensure genuine participatory engagement from all members of the community. We also challenge researchers to consider the outcomes of their research, on the basis that increasing clinical evidence does not always result in better outcomes for the community involved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5304-5309
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015


    • Community
    • Engagement
    • Health research
    • Indigenous


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