Supporting best practice in the management of chronic diseases in primary health care settings: a scoping review of training programs for Indigenous Health Workers and Practitioners

Odette Pearson, Shwikar Othman, Kate Colmer, Sana Ishaque, Gloria Mejia, Sarah Crossing, David Jesudason, Gary Wittert, Paul Zimmet, Sophia Zoungas, Natalie Wischer, Kim Morey, Jane Giles, Sara Jones, Alex Brown, Saravana Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background To improve diabetes management in primary health care for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples population, training programs that are culturally and contextually relevant to the local context are required. Using a scoping review methodology, the aim of this review was to describe the characteristics of chronic disease management training programs for Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners, their effectiveness on knowledge and skills, and client-related outcomes, and the enablers, barriers to delivery and participation. Methods Following protocol parameters, a systematic search was conducted in relevant databases and grey literature. Two independent reviewers screened the title and abstract of each paper to determine if the study met the inclusion criteria. Results Of the 23 included studies, most were developed with stakeholders, profession facilitated and delivered by cultural facilitators. All training programs included content knowledge, two included a professional support network, four provided on-the-job support and six had follow-up support post-training. Modes of delivery ranged from didactic, storytelling and hands-on learning. Two studies reported significant improvement in participants' knowledge and confidence; one reported improvement in knowledge (12.7% increase pre-post training), and an increase in confidence in both clinical and non-clinical skills. Enablers (relevance, modes of learning, power of networking, improved knowledge, confidence and clinical practice) and barriers (adult learning capabilities, competing work-family commitments) were reported. Few studies reported on knowledge transfer into clinical practice and client-related outcomes. Conclusions Multifaceted training programs for Aboriginal health workers are well received and may improve workforce capability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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