The Cost of Disability for Indigenous People: A Systematic Review

Ali Lakhani, Jennifer Cullen, Clare Townsend

Abstract


It is expected that Indigenous people experience asymmetric disability costs compared to non-Indigenous people. No systematic review has investigated the cost of disability for Indigenous people. A systematic review can contribute to the evidence base and inform the health and social care services that Indigenous people with disability receive. Thus, this systematic review aimed to: (i) provide insight into the distinct cost of disability for Indigenous people and (ii) summarise the current state of knowledge concerning the cost of disability for Indigenous people. The PRISMA approach was applied and four databases - MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, CINAHL and ProQuest Social Sciences - were searched for peer-reviewed literature published before January 2017. After a removal of duplicates, the titles of 193 sources were reviewed against the inclusion criteria. Of these, eight sources were considered for a full-text review. After a full-text review, zero sources met the entire inclusion criteria. While these eight studies did not entirely meet search criteria, findings from two studies closely met the review criteria and provided insight into service considerations that may contribute to distinct costs of disability for Indigenous people. These considerations include: i) providing culturally appropriate assessments and psychometric tools for the identification and monitoring of disability, (ii) ensuring healthcare and service provider cultural training, (iii) raising community awareness around disability services, (iv) delivering holistic integrated health-care models offered locally, and (v) building relationships with families. Irrespective of these considerations, the paucity of research in the area makes it impossible clarify the cost of disability for Indigenous people. Consequently, the need for research in this area is paramount. It is imperative that future research considers the distinct costs of providing health and social care services for Indigenous people with disability. This research will favourably inform health and social care services offered to Indigenous people with disability, and furthermore contribute towards positive health and wellbeing outcomes.


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