Exploring Mental Health Presentations in Remote Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia Using an Audit and File Reviews

Emma Carlin, Zaccariah Cox, Kristen Orazi, Kate L. Derry, Pat Dudgeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The study aims to explore the role of mental health care in remote Aboriginal health services in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and provide a more nuanced understanding of the patients presenting for care, their needs, and the clinical response. Little is currently known about primary health care presentations for mental health, suicide, and self‐harm for remote dwell-ing Aboriginal residents of the Kimberley region, despite high rates of psychological distress, self-harm, and suicide across the area. This study was progressed through a retrospective, cross‐sec-tional audit of the electronic medical records system used by three remote clinics to explore the interactions recorded by the clinics about a patient’s mental health. In addition, an in‐depth file review was conducted on a stratified purposive sample of 30 patients identified through the audit. Mental ill‐health and psychological distress were found to be prominent within clinical presenta-tions. Psychosocial factors were frequently identified in relation to a patient’s mental health presen-tation. Optimizing patients’ recovery and wellness through service improvements, including an en-hanced mental health model of care, is an important next step.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1743
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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