Research Activities

Research activities

Both the AKction 1 and 2 research projects conduct collaborative decolonising and participatory action research (PAR) with Aboriginal kidney patients and family members, health professionals, health services, academics and researchers to improve kidney care in South Australia.

First Nations methodologies including Yarning, Dadirri, and Gamma are used in research activities to prioritise First Nations ways of knowing being and doing.

Due to the relational nature of the research, AKction is also involved in many collaborative research activities with outside networks.  

AKction 1 & 2

  • AKction 1

    The AKction1 research project started in 2018, founded by likeminded First Nations patient experts, researchers, and clinicians advocating for change. During the AKction 1 research project, multiple research activities occurred including:   

    • Aboriginal community consultations​  
    • Focus groups: Aboriginal renal patients and family members, and health care staff​  
    • Patient journey mapping: from perspective of patients, family members, staff and services​  
    • Identification of barriers and enablers and effective strategies for improvement ​  
    • Priority setting and knowledge  translation workshops​  
    • Education package development for staff and students​  

    These activities, and collaborations with networks enabled the voices of Aboriginal people with kidney disease to be heard and their journeys publicised. Their stories and experiences to be shared to inform and improve health services in South Australia and beyond. CNARTS and SA health specifically developing a new model of kidney care and treatments. AKction also produced community consultation reports, conducted presentations, published articles, and engaged in capacity building of reference group members, researchers, and students. ​  

    Akction 1 - research process. Consultations, to focus groups, to analysis, which informs Kidney Health Australia.

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  • AKction 2

    AKction 2 research project is a 5 year NHMRC Ideas Grant, from April 2021- March 2026, which extended on from the original AKction 1 research project.  

    AKction 2 has four overlapping sub-studies: 

    • Indigenous Governance,  
    • Kidney Journey Mapping,  
    • Support for Kidney Patients,  
    • Cultural Safety in Kidney Care.  

    The end goal of these is for:  

    • Patients and families: achieve better kidney care dialysis, transplantation, access, education, and prevention;   
    • Health professionals: have cultural safety, training, effective partnership, and an increased First Nations workforce;   
    • Health services and systems: have improved coordination, guidelines and standards informed by community, and reduced racism   
    Akction 2 - sub studies outline

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    Akction 2 birds eye view research plan

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Collaborative projects

  • Health Journey Mapping (HJM) resource 

    Health Journey Mapping

    Funded by the Lowitja Institute, members of the AKction research project developed a health journey mapping (HJM) resource to be used to map health journeys in healthcare settings.  

    The project followed a participatory action and co-design process, with end users involved in all stages of design to create 3 mapping tools (clinical, detailed, and strategic) with different purposes and an education package.  
    This resource is currently being used by a range of healthcare workers and researchers in multiple locations across Australia and Canada to map, plan, assess, and improve healthcare journeys of First Nations People.  

    The resource can be accessed by becoming a member of the Lowtija institute.

    The HJM tools

  • Kidney Health Australia - CARI guidelines

    AKction was involved in community consultations to develop the “recommendations for culturally safe and clinical kidney care for First Nations Australians” with the Caring for Australian and New Zealanders with Kidney Impairment (CARI) Guidelines, funded by Kidney Health Australia.  

    These guidelines, published in November 2022, were developed with First Nations Communities across Australia, with AKction undertaking consultations in South Australia (Adelaide, Ceduna, and Port Augusta). 

  • Cultural bias report

    The Cultural Bias report was written by members of the AKction project. This document was prepared for the National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation taskforce (NIKTT) by the University of Adelaide (Akction Research project), and the Lowitja Institute, with guidance and contributions from Chris Bourke, William Majone, Jaqui Hughes, Stephen McDonald, Alan Cass and Paul Lawton.

    The report developed 14 recommendations for improving Kidney Transplantation Care and Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. 

  • HealthInfonet

    Members of the AKction project conducted a review of kidney health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for HealthInfoNet. The aim of this review was to provide comprehensive information on kidney health among First Nations People in Australia. 

  • Kanngawodli dialysis chairs

    The AKction team collaborated with NALHN (Norther Adelaide Local Health Network), Kanggawodli Aboriginal Hostel, SA Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium, CNARTS, and CALHN. Conducted community consultations to assess needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with kidney disease required to relocate from rural and remote locations to access treatment and care. Collaborating with community, developed new models of kidney care, including dialysis chairs at Kanggawodli, prioritising patient voices and experiences in design of their own health care.  

  • Oral health and kidney disease

    The AKction team have collaborated with Indigenous Oral Health Unit Adelaide Dental School, TAFE, and Kanggawodli Aboriginal Hostel to improve access to dental care for Aboriginal People.  

    Multiple activities including a research project about dental health and kidney care in rural and remote areas, AKction stakeholder workshops focused on access to dental and renal care, cultural safety workshops, and supporting TAFE oral health students attend placement at Kanggawodli.

  • NIKTT (National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation Taskforce) statement

    Members of the AKction project collaboratively facilitated the National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation Taskforce (NIKTT) Gathering 5 & 6 December 2022, developing the NIKTT Statement. This statement brings a voice to patients and their families, to advance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights to optimal health and wellbeing through equitable and accessible kidney transplantation.  

    NIKTT statement