Existing issue: Australia’s First Nation children experience burns at least double the rate of other Australian children. This inequity is a result of interacting factors such as remoteness, access to culturally appropriate health care, financial hardships within Australia’s First Nation communities and different understandings of health and healing. Despite being over-represented in hospitalisations, no studies have focused on barriers to ongoing health care for First Nation children who have sustained a burn.
Aim: To identify barriers to ongoing health care for First Nation children who sustain a serious burn and are now living back home in their communities.
Methods: We are using Aboriginal ontology–a holistic framework based on interconnectedness and Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing–within a qualitative research approach to explore these barriers. This allows Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers to work and share stories together, while respecting culture and ensuring cultural safety. Data will be collected mid 2016 via semi-structured interviews which will be audio recorded. A total of 25 First Nation children under 16 years of age (and their families) will be interviewed. There will be engagement and consideration of First Nation people and their concepts of wellbeing will underpin all aspects of the research from project development to sampling, data collection, data coding, data analysis, and interpretation.
Results: Expected outcome of this study will influence and inform decision making specifically to ensure accessible ongoing burn care for Australia’s First Nation communities and their children who have experienced a burn injury. Further, it will inform the development of clear and practical guidelines and a strategy for their use in health services in Australian community settings.
Why does it matter? This research will generate rich data to ascertain the impact of burns care and outcomes of a child’s burn injury on family and community life. It will help to understand the barriers to health care once a child is back in community and explore the support systems Australia’s First Nations children and their families have access to and need to have access to for better health outcomes and ongoing personal growth and well-being.