Skip to main content

Table 1 The six key values that lie at the heart of research engagement with Aboriginal communities activities as recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the activities undertaken to address those values while conducting this research.

From: Exploration of the beliefs and experiences of Aboriginal people with cancer in Western Australia: a methodology to acknowledge cultural difference and build understanding

i. Reciprocity
Reciprocity entails the inclusion and recognition of participants' contributions and in return the delivery of research outcomes that benefit the communities or individuals. The benefit should be valued by Aboriginal individuals and communities.
• Sharing of knowledge and expertise
• Assistance give to ARG members with their personal and professional needs
• Researchers assisted with writing applications to gain support for ARG members
• Funding for reimbursing some organisations that provided assistance
• Capacity building as part of the research, e.g. through co-presenting research findings and assisting develop an Indigenous cancer support group as an outcome of the research
ii Respect
Respect for individual and collective culture and acknowledgement of the right of Indigenous Australians to have different values, norms and aspirations are critical to the research process. This is fundamental to have a sustainable research relationship between participants and researchers.
• Consultation with and involvement of Aboriginal people throughout the research; guidance by ARG
• Flexibility of the research design with modifications to reflect feedback
• Acknowledgement of differing cultural beliefs and understanding of health and illness
• Responsiveness to feedback and ensuring that some feedback of study results occurs to Aboriginal people
iii Equality
Equality affirms Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' right to be different and thus entails the appreciation and respect towards these differences while performing research.
• Valuing of Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom through exploring Aboriginal perspectives, knowledge and preferences to inform the research process
• Actively encouraging Aboriginal involvement and support
• ARG's comments and suggestions on any aspect of the project valued
• Aboriginal people are co-presenters and co-authors of findings
iv Responsibility
The recognition of "core responsibilities", including those to country, family, community and maintaining harmony between the spiritual and physical realms.
• Attention to minimizing risk and ensuring no harm to participants and no unintended consequences
• Accountability to Aboriginal stakeholders
• The research process included: adequate, transparent consultation, opportunities for feedback during the development and conduct of the research, distribution of research findings in a way that was accurately represented, appropriate and understandable
v. Survival and Protection
The need to protect Aboriginal cultures from erosion and maintain the collective identity.
• Reflected in the aim of the research to explore Aboriginal perspectives and the intent of reporting the findings in a way that is respectful of Aboriginal values and does not inadvertently contribute to discrimination or derision of Aboriginal Australians
vi Spirit and Integrity
It refers to show respect for the richness and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' cultural inheritance of past, present and future generations and of the links which bind the generations together and requires the behavioural and perceived integrity of the researchers.
• Recruitment strategy to capture a broad range of Aboriginal perspectives, enriching the diversity of knowledge obtained.
• Flexibility around timeframes, recognition of the importance of relationships while conducting the research