Acknowledging and promoting indigenous knowledges, paradigms, and practices within health literacy-related policy and practice documents across Australia, Canada, and New Zealand

Gordon Robert Boot, Anne Lowell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Enhancing health literacy can empower individuals and communities to take control over their health as well as improve safety and quality in healthcare. However, Indigenous health studies have repeatedly suggested that conceptualisations of health literacy are confined to Western knowledge, paradigms, and practices. The exploratory qualitative research design selected for this study used an inductive content analysis approach and systematic iterative analysis. Publicly available health literacy-related policy and practice documents originating from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand were analysed to explore the extent to which and the ways in which Indigenous knowledges are recognised, acknowledged, and promoted. Findings suggest that active promotion of Indigenous-specific health knowledges and approaches is limited and guidance to support recognition of such knowledges in practice is rare. Given that health services play a pivotal role in enhancing health literacy, policies and guidelines need to ensure that health services appropriately address and increase awareness of the diverse strengths and needs of Indigenous Peoples. The provision of constructive support, resources, and training opportunities is essential for Indigenous knowledges to be recognised and promoted within health services. Ensuring that Indigenous communities have the opportunity to autonomously conceptualise health literacy policy and practice is critical to decolonising health care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-30
    Number of pages30
    JournalInternational Indigenous Policy Journal
    Volume10
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019

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