What Indigenous Australian clients value about primary health care: a systematic review of qualitative evidence

Judith Streak Gomersall, Odette Gibson, Judith Dwyer, Kim O'Donnell, Matthew Stephenson, Drew Carter, Kootsy Canuto, Zachary Munn, Edoardo Aromataris, Alex Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    21 Citations (Scopus)
    8 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Objective: To synthesise client perceptions of the unique characteristics and value of care provided in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) compared to mainstream/general practitioner services, and implications for improving access to quality, appropriate primary health care for Indigenous Australians.

    Method: Standardised systematic review methods with modification informed by ethical and methodological considerations in research involving Indigenous Australians.

    Results: Perceived unique valued characteristics of ACCHOs were: 1) accessibility, facilitated by ACCHOs welcoming social spaces and additional services; 2) culturally safe care; and 3) appropriate care, responsive to holistic needs.

    Conclusion: Provider-client relationships characterised by shared understanding of clients' needs, Indigenous staff, and relationships between clients who share the same culture, are central to ACCHO clients' perceptions of ACCHOs' unique value. The client perceptions provide insights about how ACCHOs address socio-economic factors that contribute to high levels of chronic disease in Indigenous communities, why mainstream PHC provider care cannot substitute for ACCHO care, and how to improve accessibility and quality of care in mainstream providers.

    Implications for public health: To increase utilisation of PHC services in Indigenous Australian communities, and help close the gaps between the health status of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, Indigenous community leaders and Australian governments should prioritise implementing effective initiatives to support quality health care provision by ACCHOs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)417-423
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
    Volume41
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

    Keywords

    • accessibility
    • client perspectives
    • community control
    • culturally safe care
    • Indigenous Australians
    • primary health care

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