Acute mental health service delivery to Indigenous women: What is known?

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The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses directs that mental health nurses must ‘enable cultural safety in practice, taking into account age, gender, spirituality, ethnicity and health values’. The present study is a review of the existing literature undertaken in order to identify current knowledge and knowledge gaps regarding the experience of Indigenous women in acute mental health inpatient facilities. In particular, studies that identified environments and practices promoting the development of culturally-safe healing spaces for Indigenous women, and studies that identified women's experience of seclusion, were sought. The results showed that there is little literature directly relevant to Indigenous women's experiences of inpatient mental health units in Australia. The present study consolidates existing knowledge and knowledge gaps, and advances the argument for gender-disaggregated future research. Implications for professional practice and service development are also noted.

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