Guy Cameron

PhD, Bbiomedsci(hons), Bmedsci

Breathe for Bub: A culturally safe framework for the clinical care of Aboriginal women with asthma during pregnancy

Status: Funded in 2024! ($598,159 over 3 years)
Scheme: MRFF Consumer-Led Research
Role: Chief Investigator (CI-C)

Project team: Doctor Elissa Jane Elvidge, Karen Baker, Doctor Guy Cameron, Doctor Tameka McFadyen, Kim Morey, Louise Morris, Associate Professor Vanessa Murphy, Professor Peter O'Mara, Ms Shanthi Ramanathan, Associate Professor Geraint Rogers, Professor Juanita Sherwood, Doctor Meredith Tavener, Dr Steven Taylor, Ms Yeena Thompson, Professor Peter Wark.
Asthma can get worse during pregnancy. Experiencing asthma during pregnancy can have a negative impact on the health of mothers and babies. Babies of asthmatic mothers can have breathing complications and a higher risk of developing asthma later in life. There is no research on the best way to treat Aboriginal women with asthma during pregnancy. Our research will address this gap by developing a culturally appropriate model of clinical care for Aboriginal women with asthma during pregnancy.

Asthma is the most prevalent chronic respiratory illness experienced by Aboriginal people with rates twice as high as non-Indigenous Australians. Compared to non-Indigenous women, Aboriginal women have higher rates of asthma during pregnancy, with more frequent and severe illness. The consequences of poorly managed asthma during pregnancy include maternal hospitalisation, preterm birth, lower birth weight, infant respiratory complications and asthma later in life. Currently there is no literature on the experiences of asthma care during pregnancy among Aboriginal women or what constitutes an optimum model of clinical care, representing a critical need for closer examination.

Our novel study seeks to address this evidence gap by identifying the significant attributes of a culturally safe model of asthma care during pregnancy and characterise disease traits and risk-factors of asthma in Aboriginal women during pregnancy. Using a mixed methods approach combining collaborative yarning and clinical assessments this study will explore Aboriginal women’s experiences of asthma care during pregnancy. The findings will form the basis for future precision asthma treatments delivered within a culturally safe model of care, with the aim to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for asthmatic Aboriginal women during pregnancy.

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