Barriers and enablers of health service utilisation for childhood skin infections in remote aboriginal communities of Western Australia

David Hendrickx, Ingrid Amgarth-Duff, Asha C. Bowen, Jonathan R. Carapetis, Robby Chibawe, Margaret Samson, Roz Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In Australia, children living in remote Aboriginal communities experience high rates of skin infections and associated complications. Prompt presentation to primary care health services is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment. We performed a qualitative study in four remote Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia to explore factors that affected health service utilisation for childhood skin infections in this setting. The study consisted of semistructured interviews and focus group discussions with parents and carers (n = 16), healthcare practitioners (n = 15) and other community service providers (n = 25). We used Andersen’s health service utilisation model as an analytical framework. Our analysis captured a wide range of barriers that may undermine timely use of health services for childhood skin infections. These included general factors that illustrate the importance of cultural competency amongst healthcare providers, patient-centred care and community engagement. Relating specifically to health service utilisation for childhood skin infections, we identified their apparent normalisation and the common use of painful benzathine penicillin G injections for their treatment as important barriers. Health service utilisation in this setting may be enhanced by improving general awareness of the significance of childhood skin infections, actively engaging parents and carers in consultation and treatment processes and strengthening community involvement in health service activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number808
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Barriers and enablers of health service utilisation for childhood skin infections in remote aboriginal communities of Western Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this