Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 January 2021
The clinical profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults admitted to hospital with neurological injury is not well documented. Understanding these profiles may enable health professionals to provide more culturally responsive health care for this patient group. This study aimed to report the clinical profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults admitted to a regional Queensland hospital due to stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A 2-year retrospective medical record review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (≥18 years) admitted to a regional Queensland hospital with principal diagnoses of stroke or TBI.
There were 132 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult stroke (51.5%) or TBI (48.5%) admissions. The mean ages were 56.7 years for stroke and 42.7 years for TBI. The majority of patients (83.3%) were of Aboriginal descent with others identifying as Torres Strait Islander only, or both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Patients were from 26 diverse home locations across northern Australia, primarily Outer Regional or Remote/Very Remote geographical locations. All patients’ language backgrounds were documented as English only. Over 90% of stroke and 50% of TBI patients presented with medical co-morbidities.
Patients had diverse geographical locations and cultural backgrounds, with many likely impacted by dislocation from home and country, as well as potential delays in receiving treatment. Despite this diversity, English was documented in patients’ medical records as their only language. The majority of patients also presented with multiple medical co-morbidities. Health professionals should consider these factors to ensure patients receive optimum and culturally responsive health care.