The literature suggests that health professionals need


The literature suggests that health professionals need

to undertake cross-cultural communication training to improve their interpersonal skills for interacting with Indigenous people, to encourage greater respect towards Indigenous culture and to help understand the dissonant world views of health and illness between Indigenous people and mainstream society.8, 12 and 16 Whilst this type of training may be useful to some extent, it is unlikely to result in entirely competent health practitioners who appreciate the diversity of Indigenous people and their culture, and who are able to interact with all Indigenous people in an appropriate and respectful manner. The heterogeneity of Indigenous Australians means there is not one set-recipe for communicating

with Indigenous people10 and cross-cultural practice requires more than just an understanding and awareness of different cultures NSC 683864 in vitro and health perspectives. The authors’ therefore argue for a more nuanced approach – one that places greater click here focus on the reflexive skills of the practitioner and that encourages health professionals to consider each individual’s world view of health and illness and the factors that conceptualise people’s health experiences.10 The Australian Physiotherapy Council states the need for critical self-reflection by physiotherapists to acknowledge their own cultural beliefs and values,

and any assumptions that they bring to the clinical interaction.11 The physiotherapy profession has constructed its own identity, incorporating values and interpretations of what are believed to be good practice.19 However, it is important to reflect on these values and acknowledge personal biases and ethnocentricity Rutecarpine – the unconscious belief that these interpretations and assumptions are correct – and how this may impact on clinical interaction.19 This includes recognising the influence of the dominant culture and how conscious and sub-conscious use of power may impact on relationships with clients and on clinical decisions.20 Critical self-reflection is paramount to avoid essentialising Indigenous culture and to ensure that physiotherapists communicate and interact with Indigenous people appropriately and effectively. As with other population groups, there is growing recognition of the importance of adopting a person-centred approach in Indigenous healthcare and to acquire a broader understanding of the Indigenous health experience from the person’s perspective.21 The person-centred approach, which is supported by the Australian Physiotherapy Council,11 was advocated by Enid Balint over 40 years ago to better understand the whole person, including their social world and individual needs, rather than merely fitting them into predetermined criteria based on illness.

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