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Trust, culture and communication: determinants of eye health and care among Indigenous people with diabetes in Australia
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    Trust and culture

    Why the first sentence of this article with its exaggerated claim about the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians? The reference cited, 1 does not support the comparison with other populations globally, and the article itself seeks to move beyond negative images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Beginning with this negative statement – regardless of its veracity - continues the long history of deficit discourse used in discussing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Rather than contribute to improved outcomes deficit discourse can actually reinforce and perpetuate approaches and behaviours such as those the article seeks to address. 2

    Overall the article presents important new research moving beyond negative stereotypes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, highlighting their perspectives and insights, and encouraging a more culturally driven approach. This makes the opening even more inappropriate and unnecessary.


    1. Gracey M, King M. Indigenous health part 1: determinants and disease patterns. Lancet. 2009;374:65-74.
    2. Fogarty W, Bulloch H, McDonnell S et al. Deficit Discourse and Indigenous Health: How narrative framings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are reproduced in policy. Melbourne: The Lowitja Institute; 2018 [cited 20 Jan 2020]. Available from:...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.