Preface: Working with people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
These best practice statements were compiled by members of the Missing Voices research team (NHMRC project ID 1046228) and two external speech pathologists with significant experience working with Aboriginal people. The inclusion of these statements represents an important step towards understanding, respecting and representing Indigenous worldviews, encouraging culturally appropriate working practices and valuing cultural diversity.
The burden of stroke in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations is substantially higher than non-Indigenous Australians, with a younger age distribution among Indigenous cases and higher fatality (Department of Health, Western Australia, 2012). There is therefore a need for increased focus on reducing Aboriginal stroke incidence and improving stroke outcomes in metropolitan and regional areas. More information about incidence of stroke and other acquired brain injuries in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
As reported by the Western Australian Department of Health’s 'Model of Stroke Care 2012', "the particular needs of Aboriginal people demand special attention and resources. In March 2010, the National Stroke Foundation (NSF) surveyed a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals and researchers concerning stroke care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The survey results reinforced stroke-specific and whole health system issues previously identified and outlined in the Aboriginal Stroke Project Report (2003). Whole health system issues include access to and equity of appropriate services (including transportation), cultural safety, workforce development (Aboriginal health workers and training for non-Aboriginal health workers) and improving communication and knowledge. These issues are consistent with current national policy and program initiatives including the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health." More information about provision of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
Some of these statements may also apply to clients from other culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Dept of Health of Western Australia. (2011). Epidemiology of Injury in Western Australia 2000-2008 Report. Perth, Australia: Dept of Health of Western Australia
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Professor Linda Worrall