Cultural safety in telehealth consultations with Indigenous people: A scoping review of global literature

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Terrill, K
Woodall, H
Evans, R
Sen Gupta, T
Ward, R
Brumpton, K
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Introduction: Telehealth has become increasingly routine within healthcare and has potential to reduce barriers to care, including for Indigenous populations. However, it is crucial for practitioners to first ensure that their telehealth practice is culturally safe. This review aims to describe the attributes of culturally safe telehealth consultations for Indigenous people as well as strategies that could promote cultural safety. Methods: A scoping review was conducted on key features of cultural safety in telehealth for Indigenous people using the Johanna Briggs Institute (JBI) guidelines and PRISMA-ScR checklist. Five electronic databases were searched, and additional literature was identified through handsearching. Results: A total of 649 articles were screened resulting in 17 articles included in the review. The central themes related to the provision of culturally safe telehealth refer to attributes of the practitioner: cultural and community knowledge, communication skills and the building and maintenance of patient–provider relationships. These practitioner attributes are modified and shaped by external environmental factors: technology, the availability of support staff and the telehealth setting. Discussion: This review identified practitioner-led features which enhance cultural safety but also recognised the structural factors that can contribute, both positively and negatively, to the cultural safety of a telehealth interaction. For some individuals, telehealth is not a comfortable or acceptable form of care. However, if strategies are undertaken to make telehealth more culturally safe, it has the potential to increase opportunities for access to care and thus contribute towards reducing health inequalities faced by Indigenous peoples.

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Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare

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This publication has been entered in Griffith Research Online as an advanced online version.

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Health policy

Health services and systems

Public health

Indigenous peoples

cultural safety

scoping review


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Terrill, K; Woodall, H; Evans, R; Sen Gupta, T; Ward, R; Brumpton, K, Cultural safety in telehealth consultations with Indigenous people: A scoping review of global literature, Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 2023