Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences pp 1707-1722 | Cite as
A Culturally Competent Approach to Suicide Research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Despite the strength and resilience of Aboriginal peoples, suicide has profound and ongoing impacts for individuals, families, and communities, and has been identified as an area requiring further research. This chapter outlines a culturally competent approach for conducting social and emotional well-being research, from the perspective of non-Aboriginal researchers. The chapter begins by outlining the topic of suicide in the context of Aboriginal peoples and history, as a base from which to understand approaches to researching this complex topic. Sensitivities associated with conducting research as non-Aboriginal researchers are outlined, stressing the importance of developing a consciousness toward the historical relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. The chapter then introduces important ethical principles, which can be used to guide culturally competent practice throughout the research journey. Specific methodological approaches are outlined, with an emphasis on those that are participatory in nature. Although the topic of suicide is utilized as a backdrop in this chapter, the approaches discussed here are transferrable to research exploring a range of social and emotional well-being concerns experienced by Aboriginal communities.
KeywordsSocial and emotional well-being Collaboration Participatory research Strengths-based research Suicide Aboriginal people
- ABS. Causes of death, Australia, 2015, cat. no. 3303.0. Canberra: ABS; 2016.Google Scholar
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) & the Lowitja Institute. Researching right way – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research ethics: a domestic and international review. https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-ethics/ethical-issues-and-further-resources/ethical-guidelines-research-involving-aboriginal-. (2013). Accessed 20 June 2016.
- Bainbridge R, McCalman J, Clifford A, Tsey K. Cultural competency in the delivery of health services for Aboriginal people, Issues paper no. 13. Produced for the closing the gap clearinghouse. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Melbourne, Australia: Australian Institute of Family Studies; 2015.Google Scholar
- Clayer JR, Czechowicz AS. Suicide by Aboriginal people in South Australia – comparison with suicide deaths in the total urban and rural populations. Med J Aust. 1991;154(10):683–5.Google Scholar
- Department of Health and Ageing. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention strategy, May 2013. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2013.Google Scholar
- Finlay SM. Conference highlights report. http://www.atsispep.sis.uwa.edu.au/natsispc2016. (2016). Accessed 20 June 2016.
- Hanssens L. Indigenous dreaming: how suicide in the context of substance abuse has impacted on and shattered the dreams and reality of indigenous communities in Northern Territory, Australia. Aborig Islander Health Worker J. 2007;31(6):26–34.Google Scholar
- Higginbottom G, Liamputtong P, editors. Participatory qualitative research methodologies in health. London: SAGE; 2015.Google Scholar
- Kelly K, Dudgeon P, Gee G, Glaskin B. Living on the edge: social and emotional wellbeing and risk and protective factors for serious psychological distress among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Discussion Paper No. 10. Darwin: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health; 2009.Google Scholar
- King R, Brown A. Next steps for Aboriginal health research: exploring how research can improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in South Australia. Adelaide: Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia; 2015.Google Scholar
- Laycock A. with Walker D, Harrison N, Brands J. Supporting researchers: a practical guide for supervisors. Melbourne: The Lowitja Institute; 2009.Google Scholar
- Laycock A. with Walker D, Harrison N, Brands J. Researching indigenous health: a practical guide for researchers. Melbourne: The Lowitja Institute; 2011.Google Scholar
- Liamputtong P. Qualitative research methods, 4th end. Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 2013.Google Scholar
- Lindeman MA, Kuipers P, Grant L. Front-line worker perspectives on Indigenous youth suicide in Central Australia: contributors and prevention strategies. Int J Emerg Ment Health Human Resilience. 2014;17(1):191–6.Google Scholar
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO). Definitions. http://www.naccho.org.au/aboriginal-health/definitions/. (2016). Accessed 20 June 2016.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Values and ethics: guidelines for ethical conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2003.Google Scholar
- NHMRC. Keeping research on track: a guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about health research ethics. Canberra: Australian Government; 2005.Google Scholar
- Priest NC, Paradies YC, Gunthorpe W, Cairney SJ, Sayers SM. Racism as a determinant of social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal Australian youth. Med J Aust. 2011;194(10):546–50.Google Scholar
- Ralph N, Hamaguchi K, Cox M. Transgenerational trauma, suicide and healing from sexual abuse in the Kimberly region, Australia. Pimatisiwin. 2006;4(2):117–36.Google Scholar
- Ramcharan P. What is ethical research? In: Liamputtong P, editor. Research methods in health: foundations for evidence-based practice. 3rd ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 2017. p. 49–63.Google Scholar
- Silburn S, Glaskin B, Henry D, Drew N. Preventing suicide among indigenous Australians. In: Purdie N, Dudgeon P, Walker R, editors. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2010. p. 91–104.Google Scholar
- Social Health Reference Group (SHRG). National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing 2004–2009. Canberra: Australian Government; 2004.Google Scholar
- Tatz C. Aboriginal suicide is different: a portrait of life and self-destruction. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press; 2001.Google Scholar
- The Elders’ Report. The elders’ report into preventing indigenous self-harm and youth suicide. Melbourne; 2014. http://www.cultureislife.org/resources/#elders.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Preventing suicide: a global imperative. Geneva: WHO; 2014.Google Scholar