'We are not just participants - we are in charge': the NACCHO ear trial and the process for Aboriginal community controlled health research

Couzos, Sophie, Lea, Traven, Murray, Richard, and Culbong, Margaret (2005) 'We are not just participants - we are in charge': the NACCHO ear trial and the process for Aboriginal community controlled health research. Ethnicity and Health, 10 (2). pp. 91-111.

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Objective Methodological criteria that characterise ethically sound community-based studies are often described in overviews but are rarely documented in clinical studies. Research investigating the health of Aboriginal Australians is often small-scale, descriptive and largely driven by non-Indigenous people. The 'community-controlled' model of research relating to Aboriginal peoples health is a form of 'participatory' research that shifts the balance of control towards those being researched. This paper describes the methodological issues and principles that underpin community-controlled health research; their practical application; and encourages their adoption in research involving Indigenous populations.

Design Descriptive report of the methods used to conduct the landmark Aboriginal community-controlled multi-centre double-blind randomised controlled clinical ear trial investigating ototopical treatments for chronic suppurative otitis media.

Results The characteristics of the community-controlled research model are illustrated under the headings of: setting the research agenda; research project planning and approval; conduct of research; and analysis, dissemination and application of findings.

Conclusion The 22 methodological elements which defined the community-controlled design of the ear trial may assist community groups, external research bodies and funding agencies to improve the acceptability, quality and scope of research involving Indigenous peoples. Aboriginal community-controlled organisations are well placed to lead research, which can be interventional and of a high scientific standard without compromising the values and principles of those being researched. With over 120 Aboriginal community-controlled health services (ACCHSs) across Australia, the potential exists for these services to engage in multi-centre research to realise solutions to health problems faced by Indigenous Australians.

Item ID: 4514
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1465-3419
Keywords: aboriginal health; community control; randomised controlled trial; research methodology
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2009 00:46
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services @ 50%
22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2201 Applied Ethics @ 25%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration @ 25%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 51%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 49%
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