Effectiveness of an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultural Respect Program in general practice - Improving GP ways of thinking and ways of doing (WoTWoD) Aboriginal and Cross Cultural Health

Project Short Title
Ways of Thinking and Ways of Doing (WoTWoD)

Project Number

Project Status

Research Team
Prof Siaw-Teng Liaw – Principal Investigator, Dr Iqbal Hasan – Project Coordinator - Sydney, Dr Phyllis Lau – Project Coordinator - Melbourne

Project Rationale

The majority (60%) of Aboriginal people live in urban Australia. Despite various strategies to “close the gap” in access to care and social services, health inequities and culturally inappropriate care persist. The WoTWoD program and the Toolkit aims at improving care clinically and culturally appropriate health care for Aboriginal people who attend mainstream urban general practices.

Project Aim/s

To test whether the “Ways of Thinking and Ways of Doing (WoTWoD)” can lead to culturally and clinically appropriate care for Aboriginal people who attend mainstream urban general practices.

Project Design and Method

This is a multi-centre cluster randomised control trial being conducted at two sites – Sydney and Melbourne. The staff in the intervention practices attend a half-day intervention workshop and are supported by trained Aboriginal cultural mentors. Baseline and 12month data aim to demonstrate improvement in cultural respect among general practice staff (measured by the Cultural Quotient), clinical care (measured as use of MBS Iitem#715) and cardiovascular risk factors (measured by practice records audit). In addition, interviews of patients and practice staff will be conducted to assess the feasibility, appropriateness, acceptability, and effectiveness of the WoTWoD.


  1. Liaw ST, Hasan I, Wade V, Canalese R, Kelaher M, Lau P, Harris M. Improving cultural respect to improve Aboriginal health in general practice: a multi-methods and multi-perspective pragmatic study. Aust Fam Physician 2015; 44(6): 387-392
  2. Liaw ST, Chen HY, Maneze D, Taggart J, Dennis S, Vagholkar S, Bunker J. The quality of routinely collected data: using the “principal diagnosis” in emergency department databases as an example. Electronic J Health Informatics 2012; 7(1):1. Times cited: 4.  [P000914468]
  3. Burchill M, Lau P, Pyett P, Kelly S, Waples-Crowe P, Liaw ST. Reflections on Aboriginalising the Research Process. Int J Critical Indigenous Studies 2011; 4(2): 29-38
  4. Liaw ST, Lau P, Pyett P, Furler J, Burchill M, Rowley K, Kelaher M. Successful chronic disease care for Aboriginal Australians requires cultural competence. Aust NZ J Public Health 2011: 238-248. Times cited: 35.  [P000875836]