Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander project

The Stroke Foundation and the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council are working together to create a new information resource. The new resource will be based on My Stroke Journey and will be delivered by hospital health professionals to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stroke survivors and their families. It will also be available for Aboriginal health workers in the community to use.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.5 times as likely to die from stroke as non-Indigenous Australians. They are younger too: their median age is 58 compared to 75 for non-Indigenous Australians. They also have poorer access to in-patient rehabilitation, secondary prevention to reduce risk of further stroke and community support to aid long-term recovery.

Focus groups have been held in Cairns, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Townsville. Speaking with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors, family members and health workers, we found:

1. My Stroke Journey is seen a good resource but the content could be clearer and simpler.
2. We need to include more photos and stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as using culturally appropriate activity examples and Indigenous art and design.
3. Work and finances (dealing with employers and  Centrelink) is a significant issue and needs more focus.
4. We need to have a marketing strategy to ensure it reaches people – engaging  hospital Aboriginal Liaison Officers and promote connection to Aboriginal health services.
The new resource will be available mid-year. After that we hope to secure funding to take the new resource to Aboriginal health organisations in other states to continue our engagement, in line with our national mission.