Aboriginal women’s experience of an acute inpatient mental health unit

  • Patricia Mary Bradley

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    The research question
    How do Aboriginal women experience the Top End Mental Health Service (TEMHS) inpatient unit?

    The personal experience of Australian Aboriginal women in acute mental health services is not well recorded or examined in the literature. This research used clinical databases and personal stories to explore the acute mental health experience from the perspective of Aboriginal women inpatients.

    Method: This mixed methods research used initial quantitative analysis to inform development of the dominant, qualitative method of analysis of women’s stories. The research developed and applied processes appropriate to use by a non- Indigenous researcher, guided and supported by an Aboriginal Reference Group.

    Outcomes: Quantitative analysis of local databases demonstrated a quantifiable difference in recorded experience between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, and between Indigenous women and Indigenous men, in specified variables including diagnosis and seclusion experience.

    Qualitative analysis of personal stories revealed five interconnected themes describing the women’s experiences: Social Context –stressors and supports; Connection – bonds with kin, culture and community; Control – losing and regaining self-determination; Caring –healing words and actions; and Communication – ensuring mutual understanding.
    Date of AwardOct 2019
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorSandra Dunn (Supervisor), Tricia Nagel (Supervisor) & Anne Lowell (Supervisor)

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