Introduction The Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care Project (APOCC) is investigating why Aboriginal people with cancer in New South Wales (NSW) Australia have a 60% higher mortality than non-Aboriginal people. Translating the results from APOCC to effect changes policy practice in an Indigenous health context presents a complex challenge.
Methods The APOCC team hosted a 1 day workshop bringing together policymakers, Aboriginal community members, health service providers, clinicians, health advocates and researchers to understand their needs and to leverage their expertise and networks of influence. We used several different methods to facilitate wider discussion about the dissemination and implementation of APOCC's findings.
Results Outcomes from APOCC will provide important evidence for decision making on delivering cancer services to NSW Aboriginal people. However to positively impact policymakers, communities and health service providers will require engaging a wide network of non-research, even non-health, organisations and individuals. The central principles of cultural safety, respect, reciprocity, consultation and relevance must overlay the presentation and implementation of APOCC's future recommendations in order to reduce the 60% higher mortality from cancer for Aboriginal people.
Conclusions Reliable epidemiological evidence is, and should, underpin shifts in public health policy. However translating results into policy and action to improve Aboriginal cancer mortality will require the efforts and cooperation of many individuals and organisations beyond the research community. This workshop has provided the researchers with invaluable initial insights and networks to address the complex challenges that will be faced in translating the findings into a reduction in cancer mortality for Aboriginal people.
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