How do we support Indigenous people in Australia living with musculoskeletal conditions?

There have been national, state and local campaigns to “Fill the gapin Australia. Despite this, considerable health gaps still exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Musculoskeletal disorders is an area of ​​health where there is a significant difference between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. Although Aboriginal people suffer from musculoskeletal disorders Aftertheir access to quality and culturally informed support remains low.

Musculoskeletal disorders can have a huge impact effect on people’s lives. Such conditions can affect a person’s ability to walk, perform simple household tasks without assistance, and participate in sports or work.

Government health agencies need to provide better support to Indigenous peoples with these conditions by encouraging culturally safe community care.

Read more: First Nations mothers more likely to die in childbirth. More First Nations midwives could fill this gap

What are musculoskeletal conditions?

Musculoskeletal problems include disorders that affect bones, muscles and joints, such as back pain and osteoarthritis. They affect around one in three people Australians.

Internationally, low back pain is the leading cause of disabilityand osteoarthritis is the leading cause of physical activity limitation. Both conditions are more common in Nativewho are 20-50% more likely to have osteoarthritis and 10% more likely to report current back pain than the non-indigenous population in Australia.

Musculoskeletal disorders have also been shown to contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With 46% of Australia’s Indigenous population having at least a chronic disease, it can even lead to upper chronic disease rates.

Many Aboriginal people are resigned to being in pain and live with them condition. The social impact of living with these conditions is important to consider. For some First Nations people, this has the potential to restrict participation in culturally significant activities and minimize ties to family and country.

For example, the ability to care for and connect with extended family, attend community and family gatherings, and enjoy activities on Country. These limits often have far-reaching emotional effects on individuals, leading to feelings of anger, depression, and fear.

Read more: Colonial ideas have kept New Zealand and Australia in a rut of political failure. We need policies by indigenous peoples, for people

Community care is needed

Indigenous peoples to access health care services to manage pain is half the expected rate compared to non-Aboriginal people. Part of the reason for poor access to health care is due to negative experiences with health care services due to discriminatory attitudes towards pain on the part of health care providers. Unfortunately, this is a common phenomenon among aboriginal people. More than half (53%) of all Aboriginal people have experienced racism when seeking health care.

The means to increase Aboriginal peoples’ access to health services is to provide them with better support to manage their condition themselves. Additionally, community-based approaches to health care would provide a safer space for these patients. The Indigenous Australians Health Program and other funding agencies should work with communities, clinicians and researchers to deliver programs addressing musculoskeletal disorders and chronic diseases. These programs should ensure that local communities are empowered center and the cultural safety of participants is a priority. Such programs could be led by community paramedical clinicians, but should include a range of healthcare professionals to ensure that optimal care is provided that considers all factors related to musculoskeletal conditions.

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Health care must include cultural safety

A whole system approach is needed to improve access to health care for Indigenous peoples in Australia. National, state and local services must work together to ensure that culturally safe care is provided, putting Indigenous clients and local communities in its place. heart. This change will likely require changes in how clinicians deliver care, how departments organize care, and how the health system supports that care.

Ineffective communication is often seen as a fence take care of aboriginal people. This is why it is important for clinicians to establish connections and relationships with the Aboriginal community they are treating. Undertaking training in cultural safety and effective communication strategies is essential to help clinicians provide optimal care.

To improve health services, programs providing care for musculoskeletal disorders should aim to establish partnerships with health organizations controlled by the Aboriginal community and to ensure that Aboriginal people are trained and employed within the team. The health system must also ensure policies prioritize these employment opportunities as well as the importance of providing culturally safe care and working with local Indigenous communities.

A person’s musculoskeletal pain and the presence of chronic diseases are often linked. We need to develop models of community care to address these conditions among Indigenous peoples and ensure that culturally appropriate care is provided. These changes will require continuous training of the nursing staff.

The fundamental change is the inclusion of local indigenous communities in all health care initiatives. These improvements will help ensure that Indigenous people have the opportunity to self-manage their musculoskeletal pain, general health and well-being.

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