Skip to main content

Table 2 Thematic Boundaries Constructing Aboriginal Holistic Health*

From: Engaging with holism in Australian Aboriginal health policy – a review

Theme n
Problems with the Aboriginal holism
Examples: difficult to define; holistic health care compounds unrealistic expectations; holistic concept is used to distract health services from their core business; and data definitions and standards not adequately developed to encompass holistic view.
Concept Confusion
Examples: ecological model, WHO definition of health, primary health care, ethnomedicine, and social medicine.
Consistent with Comprehensive Primary Health Care
Examples: holistic comprehensive primary health care; CPHC is holistic; supports provision of CPHC; and holistic CPHC services.
Essential to Improved Health Status
Examples: it must be understood that when the harmony of these interrelations is disrupted, Aboriginal ill health will persist; improvement of Aboriginal health depends upon more holistic systems; and a holistic approach to the delivery of services is essential to the improvement of Aboriginal health.
Opposite of the Western, Biomedical Approach
Examples: holistic lifestyle opposite of European lifestyle; not built around specialities or body parts; in contrast to mind/body dichotomy of biomedicine; and body parts programs conflict with principle of holistic health.
Exemplified in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
Examples: Indigenous services insist on an holistic understanding; Aboriginal medical services incorporate an holistic approach; Aboriginal community controlled health services take account of the holistic context of service delivery; and they deliver holistic primary health care.
Mainstream Health System Failure
Examples: fragmentation of roles; lack of coordination; areas that affect health outside the health portfolio; and vertical and inflexible programs.
Broad View of Health
Examples: broader context of health; whole of life cycle; multi-faceted view of health; and encompass all aspects of life.
Embodied by Aboriginal People
Examples: the holistic view of health traditionally held by Indigenous people; Aboriginal concepts of health are holistic; acceptance of Aboriginal peoples' holistic view of health; and a holistic Aboriginal concept of health.
Underpinning Philosophy of Health
Examples: Aboriginal holism should be an underlying principle and philosophy of policy, program development, service delivery, strategies, and practice.
  1. *n = number of instances a theme was evident in statements