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Special Issue "Health and Wellness for Indigenous Peoples"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2023 | Viewed by 3036

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Gail Garvey
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
Interests: indigenous health
Dr. Michelle Dickson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
Interests: indigenous health
Dr. Darren Garvey
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Kuringkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA 6027, Australia
Interests: indigenous health
Dr. Kate Anderson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
Interests: indigenous health
Prof. Dr. Kirsten Howard
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Menzies Centre for Health Policy and Economics, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Interests: indigenous health
Dr. Alana Gall
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
Interests: indigenous health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will address health and wellness for Indigenous peoples in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph

This Special Issue intends to showcase current research from around the world that aims to understand and improve the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples. There are over 370 million Indigenous peoples worldwide, comprised of over 5000 distinct cultures, celebrating rich and diverse cultural identities, unique knowledge systems, and enduring connections to lands and seas (The World Bank, 2019; United Nations, 2009). However, many Indigenous populations share continued health and social disadvantages compared to non-Indigenous people—a legacy of their common history of colonisation, subjugation and disempowerment (Anderson et al., 2016; United Nations Development Programme, 2016).

Improving the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples is critical for reducing existing health inequities. As understandings of health and wellbeing are subject to cultural influences, it is critical to understand how these concepts are understood and experienced by Indigenous populations and cultural groups to enable the co-creation of appropriate and effective solutions to existing inequalities.

Ensuring that Indigenous people are leaders and partners in determining these solutions is a key requirement for self-determination, as well as to ameliorate the long history of unethical research practices experienced by Indigenous peoples. To honour Indigenous knowledge and recognise the cultural strength and lived experiences of Indigenous peoples, we welcome submissions developed or co-developed by and with Indigenous peoples. All papers submitted for consideration should include a paragraph in the Methods section briefly detailing: (a) the nature of the engagement, and the involvement and leadership of Indigenous people and communities within the project; (b) ethics and governance considerations in relation to Indigenous peoples; and (c) whose priorities are reflected in the work (Griffiths et al., 2022).

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to health and wellness for Indigenous Peoples. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

References:

  • The World Bank. (2019). Indigenous Peoples.
  • United Nations. (2009). State of the World's Indigenous Peoples. New York: United Nations Publications.
  • Anderson, I., Robson, B., Connolly, M., Al-Yaman, F., Bjertness, E., King, A. et al. (2016). Indigenous and tribal peoples' health (The Lancet–Lowitja Institute Global Collaboration): a population study. The Lancet, 388, 131-157.
  • Griffiths K, Diaz A, Whop LJ, Cunningham J. (2022) The Health and Wellbeing of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples around the Globe: Ensuring and Promoting Best Practice in Research. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, 261.

Prof. Dr. Gail Garvey
Dr. Michelle Dickson
Dr. Darren Garvey
Dr. Kate Anderson
Prof. Dr. Kirsten Howard
Dr. Alana Gall
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • indigenous, aboriginal, first nations
  • wellbeing
  • wellness
  • empowerment
  • social justice
  • human and civil rights
  • behaviours and risks
  • social inclusion and sense of community
  • quality of life
  • social participation
  • holistic approaches
  • spirituality
  • mental health
  • resilience
  • social determinants
  • trauma, grief and loss
  • health literacy
  • health behaviour and health seeking
  • health knowledge, attitudes, practice
  • community participation
  • self-efficacy
  • cultural identity
  • cultural safety and cultural competency
  • kinship, family and peer relationships

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Concerted Model of Healthcare for Awá Indigenous of Nariño, Colombia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12250; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912250 - 27 Sep 2022
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Abstract
Indigenous communities in Colombia are facing a critical health situation; alternative health care models based on the vision of the communities themselves are needed. The objective of this research was to create a health care model that decreases health inequities for the Indigenous [...] Read more.
Indigenous communities in Colombia are facing a critical health situation; alternative health care models based on the vision of the communities themselves are needed. The objective of this research was to create a health care model that decreases health inequities for the Indigenous Awá population of Nariño, Colombia. This study was guided by the paradigm of community-based participatory action research; the process was carried out in 2015 and 2016. The proposed Intercultural Health Care Model is essentially based on health promotion, disease prevention, community empowerment, social participation in health, decentralized health care and coordination between the two medicines (traditional and allopathic). Strategies such as those reported herein, with concerted efforts rather than imposition, maintain human rights and respect for the sovereignty and autonomy of Indigenous people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellness for Indigenous Peoples)
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Article
Capturing Household Structure and Mobility within and between Remote Aboriginal Communities in Northern Australia Using Longitudinal Data: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912002 - 22 Sep 2022
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Cultural practices and development level can influence a population’s household structures and mixing patterns. Within some populations, households can be organized across multiple dwellings. This likely affects the spread of infectious disease through these communities; however, current demographic data collection tools do not [...] Read more.
Cultural practices and development level can influence a population’s household structures and mixing patterns. Within some populations, households can be organized across multiple dwellings. This likely affects the spread of infectious disease through these communities; however, current demographic data collection tools do not record these data. Methods: Between June and October 2018, the Contact And Mobility Patterns in remote Aboriginal Australian communities (CAMP-remote) pilot study recruited Aboriginal mothers with infants in a remote northern Australian community to complete a monthly iPad-based contact survey. Results: Thirteen mother–infant pairs (participants) completed 69 study visits between recruitment and the end of May 2019. Participants reported they and their other children slept in 28 dwellings during the study. The median dwelling occupancy, defined as people sleeping in the same dwelling on the previous night, was ten (range: 3.5–25). Participants who completed at least three responses (n = 8) slept in a median of three dwellings (range: 2–9). Each month, a median of 28% (range: 0–63%) of the participants travelled out of the community. Including these data in disease transmission models amplified estimates of infectious disease spread in the study community, compared to models parameterized using census data. Conclusions: The lack of data on mixing patterns in populations where households can be organized across dwellings may impact the accuracy of infectious disease models for these communities and the efficacy of public health actions they inform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellness for Indigenous Peoples)
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Article
Built Environment Features and Cardiometabolic Mortality and Morbidity in Remote Indigenous Communities in the Northern Territory, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9435; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159435 - 01 Aug 2022
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Indigenous Australians experience poorer health than non-Indigenous Australians, with cardiometabolic diseases (CMD) being the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Built environmental (BE) features are known to shape cardiometabolic health in urban contexts, yet little research has assessed such relationships for remote-dwelling Indigenous [...] Read more.
Indigenous Australians experience poorer health than non-Indigenous Australians, with cardiometabolic diseases (CMD) being the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Built environmental (BE) features are known to shape cardiometabolic health in urban contexts, yet little research has assessed such relationships for remote-dwelling Indigenous Australians. This study assessed associations between BE features and CMD-related morbidity and mortality in a large sample of remote Indigenous Australian communities in the Northern Territory (NT). CMD-related morbidity and mortality data were extracted from NT government health databases for 120 remote Indigenous Australian communities for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2015. BE features were extracted from Serviced Land Availability Programme (SLAP) maps. Associations were estimated using negative binomial regression analysis. Univariable analysis revealed protective effects on all-cause mortality for the BE features of Education, Health, Disused Buildings, and Oval, and on CMD-related emergency department admissions for the BE feature Accommodation. Incidence rate ratios (IRR’s) were greater, however, for the BE features Infrastructure Transport and Infrastructure Shelter. Geographic Isolation was associated with elevated mortality-related IRR’s. Multivariable regression did not yield consistent associations between BE features and CMD outcomes, other than negative relationships for Indigenous Location-level median age and Geographic Isolation. This study indicates that relationships between BE features and health outcomes in urban populations do not extend to remote Indigenous Australian communities. This may reflect an overwhelming impact of broader social inequity, limited correspondence of BE measures with remote-dwelling Indigenous contexts, or a ‘tipping point’ of collective BE influences affecting health more than singular BE features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellness for Indigenous Peoples)

Review

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Review
Community Engagement and Psychometric Methods in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patient-Reported Outcome Measures and Surveys—A Scoping Review and Critical Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610354 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 517
Abstract
(1) Background: In healthcare settings, patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and surveys are accepted, patient-centered measures that provide qualitative information on dimensions of health and wellbeing. The level of psychometric assessment and engagement with end users for their design can vary significantly. This scoping [...] Read more.
(1) Background: In healthcare settings, patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and surveys are accepted, patient-centered measures that provide qualitative information on dimensions of health and wellbeing. The level of psychometric assessment and engagement with end users for their design can vary significantly. This scoping review describes the psychometric and community engagement processes for PROMs and surveys developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. (2) Methods: The PRISMA ScR guidelines for scoping reviews were followed, aimed at those PROMs and surveys that underwent psychometric assessment. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Quality Appraisal Tool and a narrative synthesis approach were used. (3) Results: Of 1080 articles, 14 were eligible for review. Most articles focused on a validity assessment of PROMs and surveys, with reliability being less common. Face validity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities was reported in most studies, with construct validity through exploratory factor analyses. Methodological design risks were identified in the majority of studies, notably the absence of explicit Indigenous knowledges. Variability existed in the development of PROMs and surveys for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. (4) Conclusions: Improvement in inclusion of Indigenous knowledges and research approaches is needed to ensure relevance and appropriate PROM structures. We provide suggestions for research teams to assist in future design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellness for Indigenous Peoples)

Other

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Commentary
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services: An Act of Resistance against Australia’s Neoliberal Ideologies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610058 - 15 Aug 2022
Viewed by 466
Abstract
The individualistic and colonial foundations of neoliberal socio-political ideologies are embedded throughout Australian health systems, services, and discourses. Not only does neoliberalism undermine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collectivist values by emphasizing personal autonomy, but it has significant implications for Aboriginal and Torres [...] Read more.
The individualistic and colonial foundations of neoliberal socio-political ideologies are embedded throughout Australian health systems, services, and discourses. Not only does neoliberalism undermine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collectivist values by emphasizing personal autonomy, but it has significant implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) operate within Community-oriented holistic understandings of well-being that contradict neoliberal values that Western health services operate within. Therefore, this paper aims to explore the role of ACCHS in resisting the pervasive nature of neoliberalism through the prioritization of self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Utilizing a critical evaluative commentary, we reflect on Aboriginal political leadership and advocacy during the 1970s and 1980s and the development of neoliberalism in Australia in the context of ACCHS. Community controlled primary health services across Australia are the only remaining government-funded and Aboriginal-controlled organizations. Not only do ACCHS models resist neoliberal ideologies of reduced public expenditure and dominant individualistic models of care, but they also incontrovertibly strengthen individual and Community health. ACCHS remain the gold standard model by ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights to the self-determination of health in accordance with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellness for Indigenous Peoples)
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