Journal article

Exploring Aboriginal patients' experiences of cardiac care at a major metropolitan hospital in Melbourne

Linda Worrall-Carter, Karen Daws, Muhammad Aziz Rahman, Sarah MacLean, Kevin Rowley, Shawana Andrews, Andrew MacIsaac, Phyllis M Lau, Samantha McEvedy, John Willis, Kerry Arabena

Australian Health Review | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2016


Objectives The aim of the present study was to explore Aboriginal patients' lived experiences of cardiac care at a major metropolitan hospital in Melbourne. Methods The study was a qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 10 Aboriginal patients who had been treated in the cardiology unit at the study hospital during 2012-13. A phenomenological approach was used to analyse the data. Results Eight themes emerged from the data, each concerning various aspects of participants' experiences: 'dislike of hospitals', 'system failures', 'engagement with hospital staff', 'experiences of racism', 'health literacy and information needs', 'self-identifying as Aboriginal'..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This study was supported by a Research Endowment Fund provided by the study hospital; data collection, analysis and interpretation were conducted by independent researchers not related to the funding organisation. The authors are grateful to the 10 participants who shared their experiences in the hope of improving cardiac care for other Aboriginal people. The authors are also grateful for the input they have had at various stages of the journey from key stakeholders, both at St. Vincent's Aboriginal Health & Mission and Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit at The University of Melbourne. Other key stakeholders that were consulted include Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc. and the Heart Foundation. The importance of these reference groups for the initial consultation and feedback on this project has been critical. Special thanks also go to Ms Michelle Winters, Head of Aboriginal Health & Mission Liaison, for her guidance, and Ms Sonia Posenelli. In addition, the authors are grateful to Ms Nicole Shanahan for interviewing the participants, and Ms Laura Stamp for assistance in selecting the patients and transcribing the interviews.