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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners and their role in cervical screening and self-collection in Australia: An Indigenist research approach.

conference contribution
posted on 2024-06-29, 06:01 authored by Claire Maria ZammitClaire Maria Zammit, Aminata Morseu-Diop, Desiree Leha, Karl Briscoe, Jodie Dennis, Tamara Butler, Claire NightingaleClaire Nightingale, JULIA BROTHERTONJULIA BROTHERTON, Lisa Whop

Objectives/Purpose: The clinical practice guidelines for cervical screening suggest that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and practitioners can support self-collection cervical screening delivery. To our knowledge, there has been no research or systematic consultation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce regarding their involvement in implementing self-collection. We aimed to explore and describe how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals want to be involved in the implementation of cervical screening and/or self-collection in Australian National Cervical Screening Program.

Methods/Project Description: Grounded in an Indigenist research approach and in partnership with the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners the peak community-controlled health workforce organisation, this research utilises mixed-methods and implementation science theory. This study comprises: 1) a cross-sectional survey outlining current and desired roles of the workforce, 2) focus group discussions with members of the workforce to define and explore how the model of care (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker/practitioner-led self-collection) would work in practice, 3) interviews with key policy stakeholders to understand policy levers to facilitate the implementation of this model of care.

Results/Outcomes: To date, 104 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers (37%) or practitioners (54.3%) have completed the cross-sectional survey with most respondents being from NSW (32%) and QLD (38%). Recruitment of health professionals for focus-group discussions has commenced and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. We will present preliminary data from these phases. This research aligns with key strategic directions of the National Workforce Plan for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce and will create an evidence base for health worker/practitioner-led models of care in cancer screening.

Funding

APP2014908 NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Participation in Cancer Screening Programs 2021: “Screen Your Way (SYW) - Embedding community-driven models to increase cervical screening via HPV self-collection to improve cervical cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”.

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