Abstract : Harfield et al. HSRAANZ 2015

Characteristics of Indigenous Primary Health Care Models of Service Delivery

Stephen Harfield, Carol Davy, Zachary Munn, Alexa McArthur, Alex Brown, Ngiare Brown


Indigenous primary health services have been addressing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people for some time now. In addition to treating and managing the health of Indigenous peoples, these services often incorporate unique features such as focusing on a more holistic definition of health and an acknowledgement of the importance of upholding people’s connectedness with families, communities, Country, culture and spirituality. Our objective was to identify the characteristics, value and principles of that underpin Indigenous primary healthcare models of service delivery.


We conducted a scoping review of the international literature. Databases were searched for commercial and grey literature. Four reviewers were involved in the appraising of studies and charting of data. A unique feature of the methods employed was the use of QSR International’s NVivo 10 software to thematically analyse the extracted findings.

Lessons Learned

A number of characteristics, values and principles of Indigenous primary health care models of service delivery were identified which covered the themes of culture, governance and leadership, funding, workforce and infrastructure.


Findings from the review will inform the development of a best practice service delivery framework for Aboriginal primary healthcare services. This framework could then be used to support Aboriginal primary healthcare services to not only evaluate but also advocate for the unique services they provide.

Stephen Harfield, Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, North Tce, Adelaide, 5000 stephen.harfield@sahmri.com

Last updated on September 25th, 2015 at 01:12 pm