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Culturally informed, codesigned, supportive care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families


Lethborg, C and Halatanu, F and Mason, T and Posenelli, S and Cleak, H and Braddy, L, Culturally informed, codesigned, supportive care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families, Australian Social Work, 75 pp. 165-179. ISSN 1447-0748 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 Australian Association of Social Workers.

DOI: doi:10.1080/0312407X.2021.1916050


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience significant disparities in accessing cancer care and in cancer outcomes when compared with non-Indigenous Australians. Social workers and Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers from an inner-city hospital partnered with local Aboriginal organisations to develop, implement, and evaluate a culturally informed model of supportive cancer care. The initiative adopted an "appreciative inquiry" approach and engagement with Indigenous stakeholders, drawing on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Quality Improvement Framework and Toolkit for Hospital Staff (AQIFTHS, 2015). Using a process of codesign, strategies were developed with consumers to address the social and cultural determinants of health across the cancer journey. The new evidence-based model of care incorporated culturally informed identification of needs, culturally appropriate engagement, and maintenance of respectful connections to develop codesigned care plans with tailored information and provide practical support and advocacy. Findings illustrate the complex challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with cancer as well as their strengths. AQIFTHS processes and model of care provide guidance for social workers and other health professionals seeking to partner with stakeholders to promote health equity and improve supportive cancer care in accordance with optimal care guidelines and national quality standards.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Aboriginal health, cultural safety, supportive care, cancer
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural determinants of health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health inequalities
UTAS Author:Lethborg, C (Dr Carolyn Lethborg)
ID Code:153716
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2022-10-04
Last Modified:2022-11-04

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