Appropriate measures for the monitoring and evaluation of Indigenous Australian residential rehabilitation programs
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Indigenous Australian residential rehabilitation programs have a long history in Australia as a primary treatment service offered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with alcohol and drug problems. However, Indigenous residential rehabilitation centres are contentious, they are very expensive, tackle the back-end of substance misuse problems and very little is known of their outcomes. Recent reviews have recommended ways of strengthening the effectiveness of Indigenous residential rehabilitation centres (DHHS 1999; Brady 2002) but there has been no systematic research on culturally appropriate measures for the monitoring and evaluation of such centres. While acknowledging the need to have some form of evaluation, this paper suggest that Indigenous measures -both process and outcome -need to be developed which more accurately portray the achievements of these programs and the health outcomes of clients.