Topical Concurrent Session 1C: Pushing pain boundaries for Aboriginal communities

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APSNZPS 2018: Topical Concurrent Session 1C

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Topical Concurrent Session 1C: Pushing pain boundaries for Aboriginal communities
Chair: Ms Jenni Johnson, Agency for Clinical Innovation, NSW

Published literature regarding Australian Indigenous people and chronic pain is limited, of variable quality, and often presents conflicting results. One in three Aboriginal people report chronic pain, yet they do not attend pain clinics in proportionate numbers, and often do not seek health support.

In addition, there has been a 141% increase in accidental deaths in the Aboriginal population across Australia due to drug overdose compared with 45% increase in the non-indigenous population; more frequently related to prescription medications such as oxycodone. This suggests a lack of alternative options.

Distance and cost are barriers to accessing services, however cultural aspects such as shame, and poor cultural validity of education provided through mainstream services, create additional obstacles.

The evidence suggests that transferring skills, knowledge and expertise to Aboriginal communities and service providers creates an opportunity to improve access and outcomes. The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation has undertaken broad consultation and a series of activities to achieve this, developing resources, tools and adapted approaches to pain management programmes, including upskilling of local health workers. An example model from the Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation will be discussed.

Speakers:
Ms Jenni Johnson, Agency for Clinical Innovation, NSW
Mr Troy Combo, Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation, NSW
Dr Matthew Bryant, Townsville Hospital, QLD