The reach and flow of health information in two Aboriginal communities: A social network analysis



Publication Details

Winch, S., Ahmed, N., Rissel, C., Maxwell, M., Coutts, J. & Lucas, K. (2017). The reach and flow of health information in two Aboriginal communities: A social network analysis. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 23 (2), 189-195.


The aim of the present paper was to explore how social networks enable dissemination of health information within two Aboriginal communities in New South Wales. The study design was modelled on a social network analysis socio-centric model. Data collection was conducted primarily by Aboriginal community members who were trained as community researchers. Participants reported on their patterns of interaction and who they provided or received health information from, and awareness of the Aboriginal Enhancement of the Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service. In total, 122 participants across two sites participated in the study. Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) were cited as the main provider of health information in both sites. Between-ness, degree and closeness centrality showed that certain community members, ACCHS and ACCHO within the two communities in the present study were considerable enablers [actors] in enhancing the reach and flow of health information to their respective Aboriginal community. There is potential for future health-promotion activities to be increasingly targeted and effective in terms of reach and influence, if guided by local Aboriginal organisations and by key Aboriginal community members within and across family networks and communities.

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