Reducing alcohol and other drug harms in Aboriginal primary care

  • Research program: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Project status: Current
  • Start date: July 2022
  • Expected end date: June 2025
  • Completion date:
  • Funded by: Healthway Promotion Intervention Research Grant
  • Lead organisation: Curtin University

This study aims to improve existing approaches to alcohol and other drug use (AOD) care in South West Aboriginal Medical Services (SWAMS), a Western Australian (WA) Aboriginal community controlled primary health care (PHC) service. This study will be the first of its kind to apply a continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach to address AOD issues in an Aboriginal community controlled primary health setting. This will be achieved via co-design of a model of care with the local community and PHC staff. A CQI process will then be implemented in SWAMS to improve PHC systems that support delivery of best practice AOD care. Core to this study will be an all-teach-all-learn approach [1] that will draw on expertise from local Aboriginal people (e.g. traditional knowledge holders, healers, leaders), local primary care staff and Aboriginal and non-Indigenous researchers.

The primary objectives are to:

  1. Co-design a culturally-safe, community-informed approach to integrate AOD model of care best practice in an Aboriginal community controlled primary care setting.
  2. Determine whether sustained improvements in best practice AOD care can be achieved by implementing two iterative cycles of continuous quality improvement (CQI).
  3. Evaluate the acceptability of the CQI program for SWAMS in delivery and quality of AOD care.

This multi-methods study will commence with a series of yarning circles (a culturally safe Aboriginal research method for exploratory qualitative data collection) [2]. Yarning sessions and focus group discussions will be conducted with primary health care staff and local Aboriginal community to map existing approaches to AOD service provision, collaboratively imagine an ideal future approach and identify steps for achieving that future for AOD care at SWAMS, Bunbury. This co-design process will incorporate local knowledges and best practice approaches drawn from the Aboriginal experts and the AOD evidence base.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
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Dr Jocelyn Jones
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1616
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Chief Investigator

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health


  • Chief Investigator: Richard Chenhall, University of Melbourne
  • Chief Investigator: Nikki Percival, University of Technology Sydney
  • Chief Investigator: Robyn Williams, Curtin University
  • Chief Investigator: Elizabeth Dale, University of Wollongong
  • Co-investigator: Lesley Nelson, South West Aboriginal Medical Services
  • Co-investigator: Daniel McAullay, Edith Cowan University
  • Co-investigator: Mandy Wilson, Curtin University

This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets: