Guidelines & Strategies

Strategies for improving communication practice in Indigenous health care

Effective communication is essential for Indigenous clients, their families and health staff to work together to achieve optimal health care.

Improving communication practice requires action at a number of levels:

Beyond the encounter - reducing systemic barriers to effective communication through:

  • shifting control to enable Indigenous patients to participate more effectively in managing their health
  • improving access to health-related information for Indigenous patients
  • increasing the cultural competence of institutions and individuals

Within the encounter - improving communication practice in intercultural health care interactions

  • increasing individual skills in intercultural communication (assessing and minimising communication risk)
  • developing skills in collaborative practice: working effectively with Indigenous co-workers, interpreters, patients and families

Guidelines for health staff

Click here for guidelines to assist you in achieving effective communication with your Indigenous patients.

Yolŋu voices

Click here for a collection of resources from different areas of the website in which Yolŋu make suggestions about how to improve communication.