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Healthcare Assignment: Diabetes Related Health Condition Of Aboriginal Community


Task: Identify the diabetes related health issues that affect Aboriginal community and also explore communication barriers and cultural safety on partnerships.


Indigenous Australians explored in this healthcare assignment are those people who are drop away from the individuals living in Australia and the islands surrounding it before the colonisation of European communities. There are mainly two groups of Indigenous Australians, which comprises of Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal Community. People who came from the Islands of Torres Strait of Cape York fall under the group of Torres Strait Islanders. Whereas the people who came from other different parts of Australia fall under the group of the Aboriginal community. Around 3% of the total Australian population consists of the Indigenous Australians ("Australians Together | Who are Indigenous Australians?", 2019).

According to the National Indigenous Languages survey report of 2005, it has been found that there are around one hundred and forty-five Indigenous languages which are still spoken by the people of Indigenous background. There are many cultures which have been followed by Indigenous Australians. One of them is dreaming or Dreamtime. According to Indigenous Australians, there is no afterlife. According to them, the source of the philosophy of life is dreaming ("Australian Indigenous Cultures - Insider Guides | Study in Australia", 2019).

Events and Policies Impacting Indigenous Health
According to some studies, it has been reported that there are certain social and health disparities between the people of Indigenous and Non-indigenous groups. Some of the policies that lack cultural safety include barriers in utilizing healthcare services by Indigenous Australians. These barriers consist of a lack of trust in Indigenous Australians in using mainstream healthcare facilities. Additionally, healthcare providers show no respect for and understanding of the Indigenous Australians. Also, there are other events that contribute to impacting the health of Indigenous Australians. These events include social elements of health, convenience, and approachability of the culturally required services for health, and various other factors including behavioural, biomedical, and environmental. According to the reports, Indigenous Australians are not represented properly in the health workforce. The people from Indigenous groups wish to get care and support from only indigenous healthcare professionals. However, there is a large number of disparities seen in the rates of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous healthcare professionals present (Lai, Taylor, Haigh & Thompson, 2018).

As suggested by some studies, the behaviour of people in certain communities is driven by some past events. In the case of Indigenous people, during the Australian colonisation, persistent racism was observed. Most Indigenous people were obligated to live in missions. Additionally, they were restricted from hunting, socialising, practicing traditional ceremonies, and marrying. Also, some policies for segregation and assimilation with institutionalisation and other geographical restrictions were introduced to them. Earlier, they were also restricted from speaking their traditional languages, teaching their kids about their history and traditions, and practicing their traditional culture. These are a few events and policies that lack cultural safety and ultimately affected the health of Indigenous Australians (Waterworth, Pescud, Braham, Dimmock & Rosenberg, 2015).

Health Issues Affecting Aboriginal Communities
Due to healthcare inequalities among Indigenous Australians, they are deprived of accessing appropriate healthcare like Non-Indigenous Australians. This is the reason it has been observed that there are various health issues that are seen in the people of Aboriginal communities and Torres Strait Islanders. These health issues include lower life expectancy among the people of these communities. The life expectancy of males of these communities is around eleven years lesser than the males of Non-Indigenous communities. Similarly, the life expectancy of females of these communities is also around ten years lesser than that of the Non-Indigenous communities. These communities also face a higher rate of mortality among children and infants. Also, low birth weight, perinatal mortality, and age-specific death rates are common health issues among the people of these communities. There are various other chronic diseases which are common among these people like diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disorders, and obesity, etc. Different infectious diseases can also be observed among the people of these communities. These infectious diseases include hepatitis, AIDS, and different sexually transmitted diseases (Li, 2017).

It is discussed in this section of healthcare assignment, due to the increasing rate of diabetes among the people of Aboriginal communities; it has been found that the rate of hospitalisation and mortality has been increased in recent years. Indigenous Australians who have diabetes are more likely to die early because of diabetes or cardiovascular diseases as compared to Non-Indigenous Australians. Additionally, the onset of cardiovascular diseases in the Indigenous people having diabetes is significantly earlier than in non-Indigenous Australians. Other health issues associated with diabetes that are observed in the people of these communities are hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidaemia. These comorbidities lead to cardiac, renal, neurological, and ophthalmological problems in individuals having diabetes. It has also been observed that the youth of these communities are twenty-three times higher risk of developing kidney dysfunction and ultimately to its failure (Titmuss, Davis, Brown & Maple?Brown, 2019).

Communication Barriers and Cultural Safety on Partnerships
It has been observed that culturally sensitive communication is still misunderstood among patients and clinicians. According to some studies, it has been explored that many clinicians are unaware of how to communicate with the people of a different culture. This creates a lot of misunderstanding among patients and clinicians. Additionally, it affects the care provided to the patients (Brooks, Manias & Bloomer, 2019). The clinicians are mostly unaware of the preferences of the patients of different culture and this affects their safety and equality of receiving healthcare (Bellamy & Gott, 2013).

It has been concluded after the above analysis done in this healthcare assignment that in order to provide better healthcare services and improve the health of Indigenous people, it is important for healthcare providers to become more culturally competent. This will improve cultural safety and provide a positive impact on the patients’ health. For this purpose, the very first thing to improve is to respect other’s culture and their beliefs (Reed & Cindy, 2017). Another thing that must be performed to improve cultural safety is to provide training programs to the healthcare professionals so that they can develop and implement cultural competency (McElfish et al., 2017). Also, the correct leadership is a good option to improve cultural competency among healthcare professionals (Dauvrin & Lorant, 2015).

Reference List
Australian Indigenous Cultures - Insider Guides | Study in Australia. (2019). Retrieved 30 September 2019, from

Australians Together | Who are Indigenous Australians? (2019). Retrieved 30 September 2019, from

Bellamy, G., & Gott, M. (2013). What are the priorities for developing culturally appropriate palliative and end-of-life care for older people? The views of healthcare staff working in New Zealand. Health & Social Care in The Community, 21(1), 26-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2524.2012.01083.x

Brooks, L., Manias, E., & Bloomer, M. (2019). Healthcare assignment Culturally sensitive communication in healthcare: A concept analysis. Collegian, 26(3), 383-391. doi: 10.1016/j.colegn.2018.09.007

Dauvrin, M., & Lorant, V. (2015). Leadership and Cultural Competence of Healthcare Professionals. Nursing Research, 64(3), 200-210. doi: 10.1097/nnr.0000000000000092

Lai, G., Taylor, E., Haigh, M., & Thompson, S. (2018). Factors Affecting the Retention of Indigenous Australians in the Health Workforce: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(5), 914. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15050914

Li, J. (2017). Cultural barriers lead to inequitable healthcare access for aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), 207-210. doi: 10.1016/j.cnre.2017.10.009

McElfish, P., Long, C., Rowland, B., Moore, S., Wilmoth, R., & Ayers, B. (2017). Improving Culturally Appropriate Care Using a Community-Based Participatory Research Approach: Evaluation of a Multicomponent Cultural Competency Training Program, Arkansas, 2015–2016. Preventing Chronic Disease, 14. doi: 10.5888/pcd14.170014

Reed, & Cindy. (2017). Cultural Competence. The American Journal of Nursing, 117(7), 13. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000520925.34279.30

Titmuss, A., Davis, E., Brown, A., & Maple?Brown, L. (2019). Emerging diabetes and metabolic conditions among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Medical Journal of Australia, 210(3), 111. doi: 10.5694/mja2.13002

Waterworth, P., Pescud, M., Braham, R., Dimmock, J., & Rosenberg, M. (2015). Factors Influencing the Health Behaviour of Indigenous Australians: Perspectives from Support People. PLOS ONE, 10(11), e0142323. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142323


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