Implementation of discharge interventions for Australian First Nations people with injury or chronic conditions: A systematic review.

Miss Camila Kairuz1, Dr. Julieann Coombes1

1The George Institute For Global Health, Sydney/Newtown, Australia


Background: Australian First Nations children present with burn injuries covering larger body surface areas, suffer full thickness burns and require hospital admission three times more than other Australian children. Discharge planning ensures ongoing care to mitigate the long-term consequences of severe burns. However, Australian First Nations children and their families encounter significant barriers to aftercare. We analysed discharge interventions conducted globally among First Nations people of all ages who had sustained an injury or have a chronic condition.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted using five databases and Google scholar. We included articles in English published between 2010 to 2021. Two reviewers screened the articles and extracted data from eligible ones. A quality appraisal of the studies was conducted using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool.

Results: Four quantitative studies met inclusion criteria. Two studies used interventions involving trained professionals coordinating follow-up appointments, linkage with community care services and patient training. One study used 48-hour post discharge telephone follow-up and the other text messages with prompts to attend check-ups. The studies involving professional coordination of follow-up, linkage with community care and patient education resulted in decreased readmissions, emergency presentations, length of hospital stay and unattended appointments.

Conclusion: Discharge interventions in line to the principal domains of Indigenous models of care including Australian First Nations health workforce, accessible and culturally safe health services and holistic care improve aftercare pathways and have the potential to enhance health outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with burn injuries.


Camila is a General Practitioner from Colombia with a master’s degree in Public Health. Her main research focus has been on cultural safety and cultural safety training for health practitioners. More recently she has developed a special interest in Australian First Nations people health research and has Joined the George Institute’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health program. Currently her research focuses on social determinants of health and healthcare delivery to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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