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Title: Engaging with a rural Aboriginal community to identify strategies to improve oral health within their community: a qualitative study.
Authors: Walker D
Tynan A
Tucker T
Fisher B
Fisher T
Citation: Aust J Prim Health. 2023 Feb;29(1):38-46. doi: 10.1071/PY22215.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders bear a higher burden of oral disease compared to non-Indigenous persons. Rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are further disadvantaged due to service access difficulties. This study, initiated by community concern for oral health identified through its Health Action Group, aimed to explore a rural Aboriginal community's strategies to resolve oral health problems. METHODS: A qualitative research study using a phenomenological research design with focus group discussions and in-depth interviews was completed in partnership with a rural community in Queensland, Australia, with a predominantly Aboriginal population. The research team included Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal personnel; community and external personnel; and dental and non-dental personnel. The collaborative approach included the development, implementation, analysis and interpretation of the research involving the community through its Health Action Group. Community engagement led to the recruitment of 27 participants from local health and community groups. RESULTS: Themes emerging from the data included: reducing financial barriers to accessing oral health care; integrating oral health care with other health services; increasing oral healthcare promotion activities; and ensuring local input and cultural safety within local oral healthcare services. CONCLUSION: Community members are aware of local barriers and potential facilitators for improving oral health within their community. Their identification of priority strategies can be used to inform the delivery of oral healthcareservices and to develop oral healthcare promotion programs for the community. Co-designing solutions with the community should be an integral part of solving complex problems such as oral health.
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Journal title: Australian journal of primary health
Volume: 29
Pages: 38-46
Publication Date: 2023-02-01
Type: Journal Article
Journal Article
DOI: 10.1071/PY22215
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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