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      Access to primary health care services for Indigenous peoples: A framework synthesis

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          Abstract

          Background

          Indigenous peoples often find it difficult to access appropriate mainstream primary health care services. Securing access to primary health care services requires more than just services that are situated within easy reach. Ensuring the accessibility of health care for Indigenous peoples who are often faced with a vast array of additional barriers including experiences of discrimination and racism, can be complex. This framework synthesis aimed to identify issues that hindered Indigenous peoples from accessing primary health care and then explore how, if at all, these were addressed by Indigenous health care services.

          Methods

          To be included in this framework synthesis papers must have presented findings focused on access to (factors relating to Indigenous peoples, their families and their communities) or accessibility of Indigenous primary health care services. Findings were imported into NVivo and a framework analysis undertaken whereby findings were coded to and then thematically analysed using Levesque and colleague’s accessibility framework.

          Results

          Issues relating to the cultural and social determinants of health such as unemployment and low levels of education influenced whether Indigenous patients, their families and communities were able to access health care. Indigenous health care services addressed these issues in a number of ways including the provision of transport to and from appointments, a reduction in health care costs for people on low incomes and close consultation with, if not the direct involvement of, community members in identifying and then addressing health care needs.

          Conclusions

          Indigenous health care services appear to be best placed to overcome both the social and cultural determinants of health which hamper Indigenous peoples from accessing health care. Findings of this synthesis also suggest that Levesque and colleague’s accessibility framework should be broadened to include factors related to the health care system such as funding.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12939-016-0450-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 80

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          GIS and health care.

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          GIS and related spatial analysis methods provide a set of tools for describing and understanding the changing spatial organization of health care, for examining its relationship to health outcomes and access, and for exploring how the delivery of health care can be improved. This review discusses recent literature on GIS and health care. It considers the use of GIS in analyzing health care need, access, and utilization; in planning and evaluating service locations; and in spatial decision support for health care delivery. The adoption of GIS by health care researchers and policy-makers will depend on access to integrated spatial data on health services utilization and outcomes and data that cut across human service systems. We also need to understand better the spatial behaviors of health care providers and consumers in the rapidly changing health care landscape and how geographic information affects these dynamic relationships.
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            The Preamble of the Constitution of the World Health Organization.

             Frank Grad (2001)
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              Closing the health equity gap: evidence-based strategies for primary health care organizations

              Introduction International evidence shows that enhancement of primary health care (PHC) services for disadvantaged populations is essential to reducing health and health care inequities. However, little is known about how to enhance equity at the organizational level within the PHC sector. Drawing on research conducted at two PHC Centres in Canada whose explicit mandates are to provide services to marginalized populations, the purpose of this paper is to discuss (a) the key dimensions of equity-oriented services to guide PHC organizations, and (b) strategies for operationalizing equity-oriented PHC services, particularly for marginalized populations. Methods The PHC Centres are located in two cities within urban neighborhoods recognized as among the poorest in Canada. Using a mixed methods ethnographic design, data were collected through intensive immersion in the Centres, and included: (a) in-depth interviews with a total of 114 participants (73 patients; 41 staff), (b) over 900 hours of participant observation, and (c) an analysis of key organizational documents, which shed light on the policy and funding environments. Results Through our analysis, we identified four key dimensions of equity-oriented PHC services: inequity-responsive care; trauma- and violence-informed care; contextually-tailored care; and culturally-competent care. The operationalization of these key dimensions are identified as 10 strategies that intersect to optimize the effectiveness of PHC services, particularly through improvements in the quality of care, an improved 'fit' between people's needs and services, enhanced trust and engagement by patients, and a shift from crisis-oriented care to continuity of care. Using illustrative examples from the data, these strategies are discussed to illuminate their relevance at three inter-related levels: organizational, clinical programming, and patient-provider interactions. Conclusions These evidence- and theoretically-informed key dimensions and strategies provide direction for PHC organizations aiming to redress the increasing levels of health and health care inequities across population groups. The findings provide a framework for conceptualizing and operationalizing the essential elements of equity-oriented PHC services when working with marginalized populations, and will have broad application to a wide range of settings, contexts and jurisdictions. Future research is needed to link these strategies to quantifiable process and outcome measures, and to test their impact in diverse PHC settings.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                carol.davy@sahmri.com
                stephen.harfield@sahmri.com
                alexa.mcarthur@adelaide.edu.au
                zachary.munn@adelaide.edu.au
                alex.brown@sahmri.com.au
                Journal
                Int J Equity Health
                Int J Equity Health
                International Journal for Equity in Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                1475-9276
                30 September 2016
                30 September 2016
                2016
                : 15
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA 5000 Australia
                [2 ]Joanna Briggs Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5000 Australia
                Article
                450
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000925, National Health and Medical Research Council;
                Award ID: 106242
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Systematic Review
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2016

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