Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

BMJ Global Health






BMJ Publishing Group


School of Nursing and Midwifery


Muller, J., Devine, S., Geia, A., Cairns, A., Stothers, K., Gibson, P., & Murray, D. (2024). Audit tools for culturally safe and responsive healthcare practices with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: A scoping review. BMJ Global Health, 9(1), article e014194.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia face disparities in accessing culturally safe and appropriate health services. While current cultural safety and responsiveness frameworks set standards for improving healthcare practices, ensuring accountability and sustainability of changes, necessitates robust mechanisms for auditing and monitoring progress. This study examined existing cultural safety audit tools, and facilitators and barriers to implementation, in the context of providing culturally safe and responsive healthcare services with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This will assist organisations, interested in developing tools, to assess culturally responsive practice. A scoping review was undertaken using Medline, Scopus, CINAHL, Informit and PsychInfo databases. Articles were included if they described an audit tool used for healthcare practices with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Selected tools were evaluated based on alignment with the six capabilities of the Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) Cultural Responsiveness in Action Framework. Implementation barriers and facilitators were identified. 15 papers were included. Audit tools varied in length, terminology, domains assessed and whether they had been validated or evaluated. Seven papers reported strong reliability and validity of the tools, and one reported tool evaluation. Implementation facilitators included: tool comprehensiveness and structure; effective communication; clear organisational responsibility for implementation; commitment to prioritising cultural competence; and established accountability mechanisms. Barriers included: the tool being time-consuming and inflexible; responsibility for implementation falling on a small team or single staff member; deprioritising tool use; and lack of accountability for implementation. Two of the six IAHA capabilities (respect for the centrality of cultures and inclusive engagement) were strongly reflected in the tools. The limited tool evaluation highlights the need for further research to determine implementation effectiveness and sustainability. Action-oriented tools, which comprehensively reflect all cultural responsiveness capabilities, are lacking and further research is needed to progress meaningful change within the healthcare system.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License