Good Heart: Aboriginal Women's Understanding of Risk and Protective Factors

Katharine McBride, Christine Franks, Natasha Howard, Stephen J Nicholls, Alex Brown

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Aboriginal women's voices have been largely absent in informing efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease, despite evidence that centreing strategy around community's worldviews can drive health improvements. The aim was to gauge an understanding from Aboriginal women in South and Central Australia of the factors that put women at risk or protect from cardiovascular disease. A participatory centred, grounded theory study was developed and endorsed by an Advisory Panel of Aboriginal women. Five Aboriginal women's groups designed and participated in yarning circles. Six constructs of women's conceptualisation of risk and protective factors were explored. First level analysis and member checking was performed by the researcher. Final analysis and interpretation was undertaken by the Advisory Panel. The heart is vital for a woman's spiritual and physical wellbeing, and having cardiovascular health is important for women. This understanding is the core of a conceptual framework identifying personal factors which keep women's hearts strong or can make them sick, and social factors that affect women's capacity to care for their heart. Personal biopsychosocial factors include women's Aboriginal identity, connectedness and belonging, stress, grief, hereditary disease, lifestyle, health knowledge and relationship with services. The social factors are community; family; racism; financial hardship; government policy and funding; environment; individual, family and group supports; and accessible health and community services. Aboriginal women have identified personal and social factors enabling prevention of cardiovascular disease. The challenge is to embed this conceptual understanding into services to promote and enable those aspects protecting Aboriginal women's cardiovascular health.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHeart, Lung and Circulation
    EditorsA. R. Denniss
    Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
    PublisherElsevier Australia
    ISBN (Print)1443-9506
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    EventCSANZ 3rd Indigenous Cardiovascular Health Conference 2019 - Wellington, New Zealand, New Zealand
    Duration: 1 Jan 2019 → …

    Publication series

    NumberSupplement 2


    ConferenceCSANZ 3rd Indigenous Cardiovascular Health Conference 2019
    Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
    Period1/01/19 → …
    Other12-13 June, 2019
    Internet address


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