Empowerment and Indigenous Australian health: A synthesis of findings from family wellbeing formative research

Tsey, Komla, Whiteside, Mary, Haswell-Elkins, Melissa, Bainbridge, Roxanne, Cadet-James, Yvonne and Wilson, Andrew (2010) Empowerment and Indigenous Australian health: A synthesis of findings from family wellbeing formative research. Health and Social Care in the Community, 18 2: 169-179. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2524.2009.00885.x

Author Tsey, Komla
Whiteside, Mary
Haswell-Elkins, Melissa
Bainbridge, Roxanne
Cadet-James, Yvonne
Wilson, Andrew
Title Empowerment and Indigenous Australian health: A synthesis of findings from family wellbeing formative research
Journal name Health and Social Care in the Community   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2524
Publication date 2010-03
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2524.2009.00885.x
Volume 18
Issue 2
Start page 169
End page 179
Total pages 11
Editor Karen Luker
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
111708 Health and Community Services
920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health
920413 Social Structure and Health
Abstract This paper employs a thematic qualitative analysis to synthesise seven discrete formative evaluation reports of an Indigenous Australian family empowerment programme across four study settings in Australia’s Northern Territory and Queensland between 1998 and 2005. The aim of the study, which involved a total of 148 adult and 70 school children participants, is to develop a deeper understanding of the contribution of community empowerment education programmes to improving Indigenous health, beyond the evidence derived from the original discrete micro evaluative studies. Within a context beset by transgenerational grief and despair resulting from colonisation and other discriminatory government policies, across the study sites, the participants demonstrated enhanced capacity to exert greater control over factors shaping their health and wellbeing. Evident in the participants’ narratives was a heightened sense of Indigenous and spiritual identity, respect for self and others, enhanced parenting and capacity to deal with substance abuse and violence. Changes at the personal level influenced other individuals and systems over time, highlighting the ecological or multilevel dimensions of empowerment. The study reveals the role of psychosocial empowerment attributes as important foundational resources in helping people engage and benefit from health and other behaviour modification programmes, and take advantage of any reforms made within macro policy environments. A key limitation or challenge in the use of psychosocial empowerment programmes relates to the time and resources required to achieve change at population level. A long-term partnership approach to empowerment research that creatively integrates micro community empowerment initiatives with macro policies and programmes is vital if health gains are to be maximised. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Keyword Community participation
Emotions in health care
Indigenous Australians
Social determinants of health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 4 October 2009

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 21 Feb 2010, 00:07:18 EST