Pneumococcus in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: the role of Aboriginal Health Workers and implications for nursing practice.
Abstract Background: Pneumonia is a common cause of hospitalization in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women. Aim: This article seeks to describe the importance of immunizing against pneumonia in Aboriginal Australians and suggest strategies for screening and follow-up. Method: An integrative literature review, using both published and grey literature was undertaken to identify methods of screening and surveillance strategies for pneumococcus. Results: The literature was summarized under the following themes: pneumococcal disease; prevention strategies; access to care; improving access to vaccinations; culturally competent interventions and the role of Aboriginal health professionals. Conclusion: Community controlled conditions and the role of the Aboriginal Health Workers are seen as critical to reducing health disparities. Nurses can play a critical role in bridging the gap between mainstream and community controlled organizations. Working to increase the numbers of Aboriginal health professionals is a critical step in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
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