Tackling Indigenous Smoking Innovation Grant
Waminda South Coast Women’s Health & Welfare Aboriginal Corporation
Duration: January 2017 – June 2018
The Waminda South Coast Women’s Health & Welfare Aboriginal Corporation was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Innovation Grants to deliver the Waminda’s Balaang and Binjilaang – South Coast NSW Aboriginal Women’s Tobacco Intervention Project. The Balaang and Binjilaang project has been designed to encourage and support Aboriginal women and young women to attend support groups, to reduce the psychological distress of tobacco intervention and reduce nicotine dependence while increasing quit attempts for participants within the project – while being delivered within a culturally safe framework. Professor Kathleen Clapham was commissioned to conduct an evaluation of Balaang and Binjilaang across the three implementation sites – Nowra, Wollongong and Bega. The research aims are to: assess the impact, both separately and together, of group attendance and reductions in psychological distress on tobacco use; assess the impact of the intervention on the intentions and confidence of Aboriginal women of child bearing age not to smoke when pregnant; identify core components of the intervention that contribute to its effectiveness; and assess the potential for scalability.
What we did
The project commenced in January 2017. Ethical approval was obtained from the UOW Human Research Ethics Committee and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AHMRC). Program implementation has been staggered across five sites in the Illawarra (Coomaditchie), Shoalhaven (Nowra) and Far South Coast (Bega, Wallaga Lake and Eden) regions.
A program logic model was developed in the initial stages of the project. This involved the research team working closely with program staff to achieve a shared understanding of the underlying rationale or logic of the TIS program, and to illustrate how and why the program is expected to achieve its short, medium and long term outcomes. The evaluation framework developed includes details of data sources utilised for the evaluation. The evaluation is a mixed methods study that applies a variety of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods from multiple sources to provide a comprehensive analysis of the processes, outcomes and impacts of the program.
Qualitative and quantitative data collection is currently being completed across all sites. Program data is being collected on an ongoing basis for analysis. The process evaluation includes minutes of meetings, annual reports, and other available documentation. It includes the routinely collected program data for individual TIS clients. Additionally, the evaluation framework sets out a number of specific questions about how the program is being implemented at each of the sites. Qualitative data is being collected in two ways: yarning sessions and field observation. Yarning sessions are being used to explore and assess the individual client experience of the program (Bessarab and Ng’andu 2010). Field observation provides researchers with an opportunity to observe how the program works in its naturalistic setting at each site and to better understand the processes of program implementation and the interaction between clients, and clients and staff.
A preliminary analysis of the qualitative data obtained from the yarning circles has revealed the following themes: positive program delivery; impact on smoking behaviours; impact on wellbeing; health literacy; gender; and the importance of connections.
The research is being conducted within Waminda’s cyclical model of care. Capacity building for Aboriginal researchers and health workers is an important component of the research.