Corresponding Author

Matthew Stevens. Email: matthew.stevens@adelaide.edu.au


Substance use is a leading contributor to global disease, illness and death. Compared with non-Indigenous Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are at an increased risk of substance-related harms due to the experience of additional social, cultural, and economic factors. While preventive approaches, including screening and early interventions are promising, currently there are limited options available to healthcare workers that are culturally appropriate for use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. Therefore, the aim of this research was to translate and culturally adapt the World Health Organization endorsed, Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) into Pitjantjatjara. This paper first describes the process of translation and adaptation of the instrument (Phase 1). The process of focus-group testing the translated instrument for accuracy and cultural appropriateness is also discussed (Phase 2). Key findings from both phases are presented in the context of how the research team worked with key stakeholders in the community to identify facilitators and work through barriers to implementation. The findings from this paper will be used to inform the development of a digital, app-based version of the instrument for the purposes of pilot-testing and validation.