New resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and gout.
29 November 2023
Arthritis Australia has launched Australia’s first culturally appropriate resources developed to support and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living with the chronic health conditions osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and gout.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face higher rates of arthritis and autoimmune conditions. The prevalence of arthritis conditions among Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples is 17%, compared to 13% among non-Aboriginal Australians. They also experience poorer access to healthcare, with Australia’s First Nations people half as likely to access primary care or to receive hip or knee replacement surgery to address osteoarthritis than non-Aboriginal people. Culturally appropriate information, communication and healthcare delivery are essential to improving health and wellbeing outcomes.
The Staying Moving Staying Strong project, funded by the Australian Government, is underpinned by the principle of cultural security. It has involved strong engagement with Aboriginal community members and a rigorous review of clinical practice guidelines, resulting in several academic publications.
Brooke Conley, a Ngiyampaa woman, physiotherapist and PhD Candidate, said “My involvement in Staying Moving Staying Strong has been extremely rewarding, and I hope to see the resources benefiting Aboriginal people by empowering individuals with knowledge and fostering self-management.”
A participant from Victoria, who lives with osteoarthritis, said “There’s nothing out there for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities- and that’s why I was interested in doing this.”
Arthritis Australia CEO Jonathan Smithers said, “The Staying Moving Staying Strong resources are an important step towards providing better health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with these often debilitating conditions. We are incredibly proud of the work of the project team and grateful for the contribution of Aboriginal community members.”
The resources have been developed by the Staying Moving Staying Strong project team, in partnership with Arthritis and Osteoporosis Western Australia, with the support of Arthritis Australia and funding from the Commonwealth Government. The Staying Moving Staying Strong team is a national inter professional team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health practitioners, health service staff, and research leaders.
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