Reflective practice as a program evaluation tool for systems improvement

Tina Brodie, Natasha Howard, Odette Pearson, Luke Cantley, Peita Cooper, Alex Brown

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience significant health and social inequities, with the social determinants of health contributing to 34% of the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians. The social determinants of health are complex with interconnections between determinants, across sectors and involving multiple disciplines. The knowledges and practices of allied health professionals are well suited to achieve the inter-sectoral and inter-disciplinary collaborations needed to respond to complex challenges. This presentation will share the implementation and evaluation processes of a social determinants of health program from the perspective of an Aboriginal allied health professional.

Wardliparingga Aboriginal Heath Equity (SAHMRI) has designed a program which seeks to identify the social and cultural needs of Aboriginal people as the starting point to empowering action on the social determinants of health. The Cultural Pathways Program is a response to community identified needs, designed and led by Aboriginal people and informed by holistic views of health. Program Facilitators implement strengths-based practice to enhance participant’s capacity in self-efficacy and opportunities for individuals and families to achieve health equity. Supported by clinical supervision and shared decision-making Facilitators identify areas of unmet social and cultural need, engage in a goal setting process and make connections with social and health service providers.

Reflective practice is widely recognised and utilised by allied health professions to support learning, development, practice improvement and improved service provision for clients. This presentation will share experiences of utilising reflective practice as an evaluation method to understand program implementation and systems improvement. Reflective practice is implemented by weekly sessions which are informed by a culturally appropriate clinical supervision model. Through reflective practice, allied health professionals can contribute to enhanced understandings and improved practices on complex challenges such as taking action on the social determinants of health.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Sept 2019
EventIndigenous Allied Health Australia Conference - Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin, Australia
Duration: 24 Sept 201925 Sept 2019


ConferenceIndigenous Allied Health Australia Conference
Abbreviated titleIAHA Conference


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Australia

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