Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's domains of wellbeing: A comprehensive literature review

Tamara L. Butler, Kate Anderson, Gail Garvey, Joan Cunningham, Julie Ratcliffe, Allison Tong, Lisa J. Whop, Alan Cass, Michelle Dickson, Kirsten Howard

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    There are significant health and social disparities between the world's Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on factors likely to influence quality of life (QOL) and wellbeing. However, these disparities in wellbeing are not captured in conventional QOL instruments, as they often do not include dimensions that are likely to be relevant to Indigenous people. The objective of this comprehensive literature review was to identify these wellbeing domains for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia (hereafter, respectfully referred to collectively as Indigenous Australians). We searched PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Econlit, CINAHL, and Embase (from inception to June 2017, and updated in March 2019), and grey literature sources using keywords relating to adult Indigenous Australians' QOL and wellbeing. From 278 full-text articles assessed for eligibility, 95 were included in a thematic analysis. This synthesis revealed nine broad interconnected wellbeing dimensions: autonomy, empowerment and recognition; family and community; culture, spirituality and identity; Country; basic needs; work, roles and responsibilities; education; physical health; and mental health. The findings suggest domains of wellbeing relevant to and valued by Indigenous Australians that may not be included in existing QOL and wellbeing instruments, domains that may be shared with Indigenous populations globally. This indicates the need for a tailored wellbeing instrument that includes factors relevant to Indigenous Australians. Developing such an instrument will ensure meaningful, culturally-relevant measurement of Indigenous Australians' wellbeing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)138-157
    Number of pages20
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    Volume233
    Issue numberJuly
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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