Alcohol use and associated health outcomes are a significant contributor to the burden of disease in Australia. The risk of alcohol related illness or injury are greater in rural and remote regions of Australia, and among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an area of growing concern in Australia and recent research suggests that the risks of FASD may be greater for Aboriginal people living in some remote and rural communities in Australia. While these risks are well documented, little research has been published on the development or evaluation of interventions specifically for Aboriginal women in Australia, or globally. Where research does exist, it tends to rely on interventions developed for the broader population, and adapted for the Aboriginal context. Further, the theoretical underpinnings of what might be contributing to behaviour in this unique population and context are often overlooked, with very little research being grounded in behavioural theory.
This proposed research seeks to develop a better understanding of the specific determinants of alcohol use behaviour in Aboriginal women who live in remote communities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The study will adopt a systematic approach to identify behavioural determinants and include a review of literature, as well as culturally sensitive participatory and collaborative approaches to model development and measurement. Community ‘yarning’, surveys, and analysis of clinical data related to alcohol use behaviours will also be used to identify behavioural determinants. This research aims to provide a standardised process for assessing determinants in remote settings, and to provide guidance the development of targeted interventions through a fuller understanding of behaviour and its causes.