The Torres Indigenous Hip Hop Project: evaluating the use of performing arts as a medium for sexual health promotionAlexandra McEwan A C , Alan Crouch B , Heather Robertson A and Patricia Fagan A
A Tropical Regional Services, Queensland Health, PO Box 1103, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia.
B Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health, Rural Health Academic Centre, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Promotion Journal of Australia 24(2) 132-136 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/HE12924
Submitted: 14 November 2012 Accepted: 20 March 2013 Published: 9 May 2013
Issue addressed: The Torres Indigenous Hip Hop Project (the Project) was conducted in the Torres and Northern Peninsula Area of Queensland during early 2010. This paper provides a critical analysis of project outcomes and identifies criteria that may form a suitable framework for the assessment of proposals for sexual health promotion using performing arts-based approaches in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings.
Methods: A case study method was used. The first phase of analysis assessed whether project objectives were met using data collected during project planning and implementation. The second phase used these findings, augmented by interviews with key personnel, to respond to the question ‘How could this be done better?’.
Results: The Project required significant human and organisational implementation support. The project was successful in facilitating event-specific community mobilisation. It raised awareness of sexual health disadvantage and engaged effectively with the target group. It laid important groundwork to progress school-based and community mechanisms to address regional youth disadvantage. Against these benefits are issues of opportunity cost and the need for ongoing resources to capitalise on the opportunities created.
Conclusions: With substantial support and planning, such approaches can play an important role in engaging young people and bridging the gap between clinical interventions and improvements in health deriving from community-driven strategies.
So what?: This paper contributes to existing literature by identifying key elements of an effective approach to using performing arts in sexual health promotion in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings. It also provides guidance when consideration is being given to investment in resource-intensive health promotion initiatives.
Key words: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, community participation, evaluation methods, health promotion strategies, sexually transmissible infections.
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