Aboriginal treatment must improve
Aboriginal heart patients in rural WA need access to faster diagnosis and treatment tools, a research team has found.
University of WA researchers based their findings on two audited studies of how one rural hospital managed the treatment of heart attacks and unstable angina.
A study of the hospital’s emergency department records in 2011-12 and 2013-14 included a comparison between how Aboriginal patients were treated compared to non-Aboriginal patients.
UWA rural health Professor Sandra Thompson said the research showed “patients in rural areas still do not have (timely) access to the same cardiology diagnostic assessments and treatment interventions … as those in metropolitan areas”.
“Particularly in rural and remote areas where many Aboriginal populations reside, access to faster diagnosis and the use of effective treatments is important not only in reducing deaths but in … (gaining) better long-term outcomes,” she said.
Professor Thompson said other important factors were better communication and understanding of cultural beliefs.