Didgeridoos, songs and boomerangs for asthma management

Eley, Robert and Gorman, Don and Gately, Jane (2010) Didgeridoos, songs and boomerangs for asthma management. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 21 (1). pp. 39-44. ISSN 1036-1073

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In Australia asthma is more prevalent among Indigenous than non-Indigenous people. Awareness of asthma and compliance with management plans are poor, as is engagement with health services in general. The study explored if offering culturally appropriate music lessons could enhance asthma awareness and engagement to improve asthma and general wellbeing.
Two studies undertaken in 2007 and 2009 offered music lessons to Indigenous asthmatics in a junior school and a senior school, an Aboriginal Medical Service and a community centre. Males were taught the didgeridoo and females singing and clap sticks. Associated activities of painting and boomerang throwing were offered. At regular intervals participants were assessed for their asthma status. At completion participants reported on the benefits of the study.
Excellent retention occurred in Study 1 for adolescents and junior males but was poor for junior females and adults. Contributory factors to retention were parental and school support for minors and other health factors for adults. Respiratory function improved in males and both males and females reported increased well being. In Study 2 retention of all participants was excellent. In addition there was increased engagement of both participants and their families with medical services. In both studies awareness of asthma and compliance with asthma management plans increased. Social skills improved as did cultural awareness.
The offering of music lessons is a culturally appropriate and enjoyable intervention to promote asthma, general health awareness and engagement with medical services.
So what?
Providing culturally appropriate interventions is an effective mechanism to engage Indigenous people with medical services

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher's copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2010 05:50
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2014 02:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: asthma; indigenous; music; health and wellbeing; didgeridoos; Australia
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110403 Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medicine and Treatments
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110203 Respiratory Diseases
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/6300

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