Indigenous People Case Study

775 Words 4 Pages
The psychological effects of facing health care for Australian Indigenous people.

Indigenous people, when requiring westernised medical support, confront many issues. Facing treatment, stress can affect ones psyche, the family, the friends, and even community. Both stress and anxiety are major important factors, which require consideration when addressing the needs of Australian Indigenous groups. Health, development, personality and social factors can help explain psychological effects experienced by Indigenous people during hospitalisation. A study revealed that Australian Aborigines self-discharge from hospitals at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. This study of an Alice Spring hospital, showed physician, institutional and
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Pregnant Indigenous women can find hospitalisation stressful due to, for them, an unfamiliar environment. The experience of treatment and patient care can impact physically and mentally on the individual and the child. Lundy et al. (1999) found that stress in pregnancy causes an increase of cortisol in the newborn, leading to long-term psychological effects. Furthermore, Zhu et al. (2014) found that prenatal maternal stress could be predictive evidence for lower cognitive ability and changes to temperament in newborns. While it is clear, mothers’ stress affects the infant it is also important to recognize the influence of the parents’ personalities on the development of the …show more content…
According to Parker (2010) Aboriginal people experience a collective sense of self, where guidance on life decisions hold value in a reciprocal relationship within their culture, spirituality, community and country. Hunter, (1993) and McKendrick (1997) suggested that Indigenous people when hospitalized and coming from remote areas experience a feeling of separation from the family. This leads to the loss of a sense of self, resulting in severe stress. According to social cognitive theory, confusion about identity can cause anxiety and be associated with low self-efficacy, as the individual is unable to control threatening situations (Bandura, 1988). The strength of the study of social identity is qualitative rather than quantitative, and provides comprehensive personal accounts. Furthermore, it incorporates holistic views of Aboriginal epistemology (Crothers,

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