Developing a wellbeing framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living with chronic disease (wellbeing study)

Addressing a need identified by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their primary healthcare providers, this study developed a Wellbeing Framework for managing chronic disease in a manner that also supports wellbeing.  

Chronic diseases have a substantial impact on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with Indigenous peoples experiencing much higher rates of both morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases in comparison to non-Indigenous Australians.

Access to appropriate, affordable and acceptable comprehensive primary healthcare is critical for preventing and managing chronic disease. While appropriate infrastructure, sufficient funding and knowledgeable health care professionals are crucial, these elements alone will not lead to accessible primary healthcare services for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

Re-defining the way in which care is delivered in order to reflect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ needs and values is essential for improving the accessibility and acceptability of primary healthcare services. Chronic care models that are currently in use within primary healthcare settings, however, usually focus upon the systems, resources and policies that are required to deliver care, including prepared and proactive practice teams and informed and activated patients.  

The important roles of culture, spirituality, Country and family in maintaining health and wellbeing are notably absent from such models. The Wellbeing Framework developed through this study considers these more holistic aspects of health in addition to the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions.

Partnerships

  • Professor Alex Brown – Wardliparingga, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Ms Alison Killen – Department of Health and Ageing
  • Dr Beverly Essue (Proxy for Professor Stephen Jan) – The George Institute for Global Health
  • Ms Dallas McKeown – Wuchopperen Health Services
  • Associate Professor Deborah Askew – Inala Indigenous Health Service
  • Mr Garth Dodd – Council of Aboriginal Elders of South Australia
  • Ms Deborah Hobbs – Nunkuwarrin Yunti Inc.
  • Dr Hugh Burke – Maari Ma Health
  • Ms Janice Rigney – Council of Aboriginal Elders of South Australia
  • Ms Jenny Hunt – Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales
  • Dr Jim Stephen – Danilla Dilba Medical Service
  • Mr Malcolm Darling – Danilla Dilba Medical Service
  • Professor Ngiare Brown – National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  • Dr Odette Gibson – South Australian Health and Medical Research Unit
  • Dr Peter Bennett – Nganampa Health Council
  • Ms Regina Osten – New South Wales Ministry of Health
  • Mr Rob Gerrie – (Proxy for Ms April-Lawrie Smith) Department Health South Australia
  • Dr Sally Goold – Community Elder Queensland
  • Mr Shaun Jacobson – Nunkuwarrin Yunti Inc.
  • Ms Sonya Egert – Inala Indigenous Health Service
  • Ms Wendy Keech – National Heart Foundation
  • Miss Anna Dowling – Wardliparingga, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Ms Bernadette Rickards – Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute
  • Dr Carol Davy – Wardliparingga, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Ms Elaine Kite – Wardliparingga, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Ms April-Lawrie Smith – Department of Health South Australia
  • Mr Daryl Wright – Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation
  • Mrs Mary Buckskin – Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Inc.
  • Ms Raylene Gordon – New South Wales Ministry of Health
  • Professor Stephen Jan – The George Institute for Global Health
  • Ms Vicki Gordon – Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory