Gorman, Don and Nielsen, Anne-Maree and Best, Odette (2006) Western medicine and Australian indigenous healing practices. Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, 30 (1). pp. 28-29. ISSN 1037-3403
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[Introduction]: The health status of Indigenous Australia as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is amongst the worst of any group in the so-called first world, suffering more ill health, experiencing more disability and poorer quality of life and dying younger than non-Indigenous Australians. This appalling situation continues to exist, despite attempts over considerable time to address the issues. One of the possible reasons for some attempts being unsuccessful is the relevance of the strategies, or lack of it to the communities and/or individuals being helped. Most projects undertaken by government health organisations are formulated on values and beliefs about health and illness that are derived from Anglo/Celtic culture. Health beliefs differ between cultures and it has been identified that the differences in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous constructs of health impacts negatively on the effectiveness of mainstream healthcare provided to Indigenous peoples. This implies that strategies that incorporate, or better still are derived from, Indigenous health beliefs have a greater potential to be effective.
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