Sharing the True Stories (STTS) is a five-year research project that ran from 2001 to 2005 and focused on identifying and addressing barriers to effective communication between Aboriginal client groups and health staff in renal and hospital services in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia. All the Aboriginal clients involved in the research program were Yolngu speakers from north-east Arnhem Land.
Summary of outcomes
The STTS research project has:
1. Contributed strategies and resources for building capacity in the Aboriginal health workforce and Aboriginal interpreter workforce in health towards more effective communicative and educative practices between healthcare providers and Aboriginal client and community groups.
2. Benefited participating Yolngu patients and family and community members by instituting more effective communication, better understanding and more control in decision making in renal care, particularly at Nightcliff Renal Unit.
Summary of project implementation
STTS, a longitudinal participatory action research project, was conducted in two stages.
- Stage 1 involved an ongoing interview process, using the skills of Aboriginal interpreters, to identify key strategies for the constructive stage.
- Stage 2 involved evaluating these strategies to improve communication between health staff and their Indigenous clients.
- Kerin Coulehan, Isaac Brown, Michael Christie, Gillian Gorham, Anne Lowell, Betty Marr\anyin & Bhavini Patel 2005, Sharing the True Stories, Evaluating Strategies to Improve Communication between Health Staff and Aboriginal Patients, STAGE 2 Report.
- Anne Lowell, Isaac Brown, Betty Marr\anyin, Melinda Flack, Michael Christie, Paul Snelling & Alan Cass 2005, Sharing the True Stories, Improving Communication between Health Staff and Aboriginal Patients, STAGE 1 Report.
- Alan Cass, Anne Lowell, Michael Christie, Paul Snelling, Melinda Flack, Betty Marrnganyin & Isaac Brown 2002, ‘Sharing the True Stories: Improving communication between Aboriginal patients and health care workers’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 176(20), 466–70