Study 5: The Communication Project
The Communication Project is an adjunct project that aims to complement the findings of the other Kanyini Component studies the Audit (KAS), Qualitative (KQS), Polypill and Electronic Decision Support Tool. It is funded separately from these studies.
The Communication Project comprises of the Communication Study and the Kanyini Documentary. Conceived and described as the Documentary Project in the original KVC project overview, activities under KVC to date have required us to expand the scope of this project to include interventions that address key communication needs of Australian indigenous communities using innovative evidence based methods.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Australians suffer excessively from premature morbidity and mortality from chronic disease. These are complex illnesses and require multidisciplinary approaches to achieve optimal outcomes. Indigenous patients and caregivers are obliged to negotiate significant barriers in Australian health systems to engage with care and gain access to proven health interventions.
Previous work by our research team has found pervasive miscommunication between users of health services and the providers of their care. Not only is this substantially under recognised within systems but can lead to reduced access to care, negative experiences of care and thus bad health outcomes.
The development of a shared understanding of the illness experience is crucial for health professionals and their patients who come from different social, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Resources are sorely needed to facilitate this process.
Design of the Communication Study
The Communication Study addresses the key communication needs within the framework used by the Qualitative Study. It will be guided closely by the findings of our qualitative study and the work of Research Fellow and Science Communication PhD student, Suzanne Ingram, whose research draws in specific audience analysis, health promotion tools and applied communication platforms.
Key Objectives of the Communication Study
- To understand the communication needs of the Indigenous communities which affect their level of knowledge and perceived need to engage with care in the prevention and management of Chronic disease.
- Through exploring the Indigenous experience of care including Indigenous participantsí different perspectives on health and wellbeing, illness, and accessing and utilising health services, we hope to provide critical insights into the mechanics of miscommunication in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander settings, how it arises and how it affects health outcomes
- To analyse current available communication tools regarding prevention in Indigenous Health and to develop interventions/ outcomes that will innovatively address the communication needs of the indigenous communities.
Key Outcomes of the Communication Project
We aim to produce a range of outputs and educational materials about the clinical interactions and personal experiences in the treatment of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander patients with chronic disease illness. These outputs might include:
- A pilot of a radio series for Indigenous communities to encourage health promotion and engagement with care.
- A broadcast quality four-part documentary series on healthcare provision of chronic disease in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander settings each focusing on Indigenous peopleís experiences in negotiating health systems for necessary care; with supporting educational materials for the health professionals in improving communication with Indigenous communities.
- An interactive multimedia website including regularly updated materials such as educatorís guide, featured stories, audio/video extracts and shared commentary pages
- A series of peer- reviewed journal articles and articles in Indigenous press.