‘Closing the gap’: how maternity services can contribute to reducing poor maternal infant health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Kildea, S., Kruske, S., Barclay, L. and Tracy, S. (2010) ‘Closing the gap’: how maternity services can contribute to reducing poor maternal infant health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Rural and Remote Health, 10 3: .

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
UQ330896_OA.pdf Full text (open access) application/pdf 529.12KB 0
Author Kildea, S.
Kruske, S.
Barclay, L.
Tracy, S.
Title ‘Closing the gap’: how maternity services can contribute to reducing poor maternal infant health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
Journal name Rural and Remote Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-6354
Publication date 2010-08-06
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 10
Issue 3
Total pages 18
Place of publication Deakin West, ACT, Australia
Publisher Australian Rural Health Education Network
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Context: The reproductive health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and infants are significantly poorer than they are for other Australians; they worsen with increasing remoteness where the provision of services becomes more challenging. Australia has committed to ‘Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage' and ‘Closing the Gap’ in health outcomes.

Issues:
Fifty-five per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander birthing women live in outer regional and remote areas and suffer some of the worst health outcomes in the country. Not all of these women are receiving care from a skilled provider, antenatally, in birth or postnatally while the role of midwives in reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity is under-utilised. The practice of relocating women for birth does not address their cultural needs or self-identified risks and is contributing to these outcomes. An evidence based approach for the provision of maternity services in these areas is required. Australian maternal mortality data collection, analysis and reporting is currently insufficient to measure progress yet it should be used as an indicator for ‘Closing the Gap’ in Australia.

Lessons learned:
A more intensive, coordinated strategy to improve maternal infant health in rural and remote Australia must be adopted. Care needs to address social, emotional and cultural health needs, and be as close to home as possible. The role of midwives can be enabled to provide comprehensive, quality care within a collaborative team that includes women, community and medical colleagues. Service provision should be reorganised to match activity to need through the provision of caseload midwives and midwifery group practices across the country. Funding to embed student midwives and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in this role must be realised. An evidence base must be developed to inform the provision of services in these areas; this could be through the testing of the Rural Birth Index in Australia. The provision of primary birthing services in remote areas, as has occurred in some Inuit and New Zealand settings, should be established. ‘Birthing on Country’ that incorporates local knowledge, on-site midwifery training and a research and evaluation framework, must be supported.
Keyword Aborignal
Australian maternity care
Cultural safety
Indigenous
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article number 1383.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 23 May 2014, 01:00:17 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work