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How telehealth facilitates the provision of culturally appropriate healthcare for Indigenous Australians.

How telehealth facilitates the provision of culturally appropriate healthcare for Indigenous Australians.

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How telehealth facilitates the provision of culturally appropriate healthcare for Indigenous Australians.

J Telemed Telecare. 2018 Dec;24(10):676-682

Authors: Caffery LJ, Bradford NK, Smith AC, Langbecker D

Abstract
Introduction The aim of this study was to explore how telehealth facilitates or impedes the provision of culturally appropriate healthcare to Indigenous Australians from the perspective of staff at an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS). Methods An exploratory qualitative study was performed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine ACCHS staff. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Results One central theme and three sub-themes were identified. The central theme of Care provided in a supportive environment describes how telehealth enabled specialist consultations to be conducted in the safe environment of an ACCHS instead of a mainstream health service. The first sub-theme described how telehealth improved affordability and convenience and brought a reduction in the stress of healthcare. The second sub-theme explained the importance of the presence of an Indigenous health worker to facilitate culturally appropriate healthcare. The third sub-theme described how telehealth supported a holistic view of health. Discussion Our findings show culturally appropriate healthcare may be enhanced by the use of telehealth because it allows care to be provided in the supportive environment of an ACCHS. It allows the community member to have the advocacy and assistance of an Indigenous health worker and reduces the burden of travel and dislocation from community and family.

PMID: 30343658 [PubMed - in process]

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