Keeping cultural considerations in mind is important when providing supportive and palliative care. Health Service Providers need to create respectful and sensitive interactions between people to ensure the best end of life care.

According to the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA), this is especially important when it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities because they have a greater burden of illness, die younger and more frequently than other Australians. Often their culture, communication styles, family structures and beliefs are not widely known or understood by other Australians and this can complicate care.

To counter this lack of knowledge, PEPA have just released and excellent document titled “Cultural Considerations: Providing end-of-life care for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples”. It outlines practical considerations for health care services about what should be known and understood, enabling the best cultural care.

This document should be essential reading for anyone working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is an invaluable tool that will help prevent misconceptions and misunderstandings and can only lead to better outcomes for everyone involved.

To download the ‘Cultural Considerations’ PDF click here.

Artwork by Michael J Connolly – Munda-Gutta Kulliwari, taken from the "Cultural Considerations" flipbook by PEPA.