The potential effects of the didgeridoo as an indigenous intervention for Australian aborigines: a post analysis

Eley, Robert (2013) The potential effects of the didgeridoo as an indigenous intervention for Australian aborigines: a post analysis. Music and Medicine, 5 (2). pp. 85-92. ISSN 1943-8621


Asthma prevalance in Australia is high by international standards. The disease is more common among Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australians. This article provides analyses of a music medicine intervention undertaken in 7 locations. Our team sought to evaluate whether a program of teaching didgeridoo playing and singing to Aboriginal people would be beneficial. Engaging community organisations, schools, and parents was met with challenges. While there were difficulties with retention of some participants, the overall results were positive. Spirometry indicated small improvements to lung function in a few participants; however, the overall value of the program's capacity to improve general well-being was considered to be high by both participants and parents. Increased appreciation of traditional culture was an additional outcome. In consideration of the program's effects and how best to sustain such health and cultural benefits to a small number of participants, its value will be weighed against the potential pragmatic problems of implementation and running costs. It is hoped that this article's reflective stance in review of outcomes will prompt further consideration of how best to develop music and medicine, music therapy, and/or educational programs that meet unique clinical and health needs through inclusion and that also address diversity. These aspects additionally offer consideration and insight into the profound effects that culture, particularly when expressed through live and active music making, may play in the health and wellness of both individuals and families of underserved communities.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 23548
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright The Author(s) 2013. Published version made not accessible
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 28 May 2013 05:35
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 05:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: asthma; Australia; indigenous; music
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110203 Respiratory Diseases
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190408 Music Therapy
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3201 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology > 320103 Respiratory diseases
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science > 420103 Music therapy
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420305 Health and community services
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions)
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only