Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of inactivity and commonly co-exists with other chronic conditions that disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (hereinafter referred to as Aboriginal Australians). Aboriginal Australians are more likely to experience osteoarthritis than non-Aboriginal Australians but seek care at less than half the expected rate. To address this mismatch, OPUS researchers together with Indigenous health researchers, are embarking on a program of research to engage Aboriginal voices to understand and meet the needs of Aboriginal Australians with osteoarthritis. The mission in this research stream will be enhancing Equity, Collaboration and Culturally secure Osteoarthritis care for Aboriginal Australians (ECCO).
The specific aims of ECCO are to:
- Establish a community reference group to:
- Ensure ongoing engagement with Aboriginal cultural perspectives and cultural security,
- Identify opportunities to enhance clinical capacity among local Aboriginal health workers and build research and leadership capacity among the Aboriginal co-researchers
- Advise on how to translate the findings into sustainable benefits for Aboriginal Australians
- Understand and develop a measure of health-related quality of life in Aboriginal Australians with osteoarthritis
- Map variation in regional access to evidence-based care
- Explore barriers and enablers to accessing evidence-based care
- Design a method for delivering culturally appropriate care
- Implement culturally appropriate care and conduct a process and outcome evaluation to determine the impact on the health-related quality of life of Aboriginal Australians with osteoarthritis.