'Hero to healing' drink driving program for Indigenous communities in Far North Queensland

Fitts, Michelle S. & Palk, Gavan R. (2016) 'Hero to healing' drink driving program for Indigenous communities in Far North Queensland. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 27(1), pp. 74-79.

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Issue addressed: Alcohol-related road crashes are a leading cause of the injury burden experienced by Indigenous Australians. Existing drink driving programs are primarily designed for the mainstream population. The ‘Hero to Healing’ program was specifically developed with Indigenous communities and is underpinned by the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA). This paper reports on the formative evaluation of the program from delivery in two Far North Queensland communities.

Methods: Focus groups and semistructured interviews were conducted with drink driver participants (n = 17) and other Elders and community members (n = 8) after each program. Qualitative content analysis was used to categorise the transcripts.

Results: The CRA appealed to participants because of its flexible nature and encouragement of rearranging lifestyle factors, without specific focus on alcohol use. Participants readily identified with the social and peer-related risk and protective factors discussed. Cofacilitation of the program with Elders was identified as a key aspect of the program. More in-depth discussion about cannabis and driving, anger management skills and relationship issues are recommended.

Conclusions: Participants’ recognition of content reinforced earlier project results, particularly the use of kinship pressure to motivate younger family members to drink drive. Study findings suggest that the principles of the CRA are useful; however, some amendments to the CRA components and program content were necessary.

So what?: Treating drink driving in regional and remote Indigenous Australian communities as a community and social issue, rather than an individual phenomenon, is likely to lead to a reduction in the number of road-related injuries Indigenous people experience.

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ID Code: 95344
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, alcohol, health promotion, program acceptability
DOI: 10.1071/HE15069
ISSN: 1036-1073
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Forensic Psychology (170104)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 05 May 2016 00:32
Last Modified: 06 May 2016 01:04

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