This project aimed to determine the feasibility of an integrated pathway model of care for Aboriginal women in Western Australia during pregnancy.
Despite making substantial improvements in the health of Aboriginal Australians over the last ten years, significant gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in maternal and infant health outcomes remain. This project responds to concerns regarding Aboriginal women, and their babies, and the impact of the lack of documented patient transfer models for journey planning (through antenatal, birthing and postnatal, primary care) that prevent essential medical and psychosocial information reaching appropriate professionals (for example, Midwives, community/ Child Health Nurses, GPs, other social support services), that have an important role in supporting and delivering services to these women both prior to and following the birth of their child.
The overall aim of this project was to determine the feasibility of an integrated pathway model of care for Aboriginal women in Western Australia during pregnancy. To do this it was important to understand the current system of identification, referral, and support available and to identify barriers that prevent important information related to these women and their babies being transferred between these services. Concomitantly, it was important to look at the current systems in place that successfully support the patient journeys of pregnant Aboriginal women.
This research, with the support and involvement of appropriate governance structures involved the conduct of focus groups and one on one interviews across Western Australia. A total of 144 people from 53 different organisations participated in one of the data collection methods. These included Midwives, Obstetricians, Child Health Nurses, Aboriginal Health Workers, Aboriginal Liaison Officers, health promotion staff, allied health workers, and community workers.