Ilse Blignault

Ilse Blignault
Western Sydney University · Translational Health Research Institute

30.44
 · 
Doctor of Philosophy (UWA). Master of International Health (Curtin), Master of Clinical Psycholgy (ANU), BSC in Psychology Hons (UNSW)

About

106
Publications
10,479
Reads
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932
Citations
Introduction
Ilse Blignault is employed part-time at Western Sydney University Translational Health Research Institute and School of Medicine. Her research interests include: Social and cultural determinants of health; Health and community services in a multicultural society; Community and consumer engagement; Social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians; and Transcultural mental health.
Research Experience
November 2015 - present
Western Sydney University
Position
  • Principal Research Fellow
January 2010 - present
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • Visiting Fellow/Senior Visiting Fellow
October 2002 - December 2009
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • Senior Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (106)
Technical Report
Report prepared for NSW Health (Translational Research Grants Scheme), December 2019.
Technical Report
Expanding and strengthening the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professional workforce is recognised as crucial for improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The Career Pathways Project is an Aboriginal-led research project funded by the Lowitja Institute. Its purpose is to provide insight...
Article
Objective To explore the extent of integration of traditional and western approaches in mental health care in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Method Examination of national mental health policies and literature review. Results Traditional healers were included as resources for mental health in four of the seven policies that we were able to acce...
Article
The cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity of Australia's population presents challenges for mental health service delivery. Arabic-speaking communities in Australia underutilise mental health services despite high levels of trauma and psychological distress. Clinicians who work with this population lack linguistically and culturally appropr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and the prevalence is inequitably distributed between and within countries. Interventions have been undertaken to improve cataract surgical services, however, the effectiveness of these interventions on promoting equity is not known. Objectives: T...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a case study of bushfire risk communication in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia; one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world. A documentary film, ‘Fire Stories - A Lesson in Time’, was locally produced to raise community awareness of the risk of fire. The film presented a devastating bushfire event for to...
Article
Aim: Assisting women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) to adopt healthy lifestyles is a priority for diabetes prevention. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate measures that can be used to assess the efficacy of behavior change interventions in this group. Method: Measures of psychosocial influences on physical ac...
Article
Indigenous people around the world have long healing traditions. Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing projects are designed to empower individuals, families and communities; strengthen connections to culture; and reduce the damaging effects of colonisation and government policies such as the forcible removal of children (the S...
Article
This consumer-led research investigated the client experiences and the individual and community benefits of a community-based cancer support service operating in a regional setting. The study included cross-sectional surveys, focus group discussions and key-informant interviews. In total, 114 clients, 28 carers and 20 therapists were surveyed; thre...
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Full-text available
This study investigated psychological distress in Iranian international students at UNSW Australia, and explored the psychosocial factors associated with high levels of distress. A total of 180 Iranian international students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees during 2012/2013 completed an email questionnaire containing socio-demographi...
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Full-text available
Objective: Inequalities in cataract blindness are well known, but data are rarely disaggregated to explore the combined effects of a range of axes describing social disadvantage. We examined inequalities in cataract blindness and services at the intersection of three social axes. Methods: Three dichotomous social variables (sex (male/female); pl...
Article
Ensuring consumer engagement at different levels of the health system - direct care, organisational design and governance and policy - has become a strategic priority. This case study explored, through interviews with six purposively selected 'insiders' and document review, how one Medicare Local (now a Primary Health Network, PHN) and Local Health...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a case study of bushfire risk communication in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia is one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world. A documentary film, 'Fire Stories - A Lesson in Time was locally produced to raise community awareness of the risk of fire. The film presented a devastating bushfire event for to...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The World Health Organization Program for the Prevention of Blindness adopted the principles of universal health coverage (UHC) in its latest plan, Universal Eye Health: A Global Action Plan, 2014–2019. This plan builds on the achievements of Vision 2020, which aimed to reduce the global prevalence of avoidable blindness, and its unequal d...
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To describe the impact on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of the armed conflict that occurred in the Solomon Islands from 1998-2003 and the subsequent political unrest and natural disasters, and the developments in mental health services since 2003. A literature and document review was conducted, supplemented by the written reflections of...
Article
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To evaluate the first three years of a national program to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous youth in remote and regional Australia. Combination of open inquiry and audit review involving investigation of process and outcomes, with a broad national overview supplemented by five in-depth case studies in diverse settings. Commu...
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This article documents the findings of a short-term longitudinal study that explored the caring journeys of aged Greek carers providing in-home care for their spouse. Through a deeper understanding of carers’ decisions and decision-making and insights from service providers and community leaders, we aimed to inform policy makers, service managers a...
Book
Full-text available
During 2014, Muru Marri worked collaboratively the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation and its partners to document the evidence and support for collective healing programs for Stolen Generations members, and to develop a resource to assist Stolen Generations organisations and groups in the design, delivery and evaluation of co...
Article
This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows: To assess the effects on equity of interventions to improve access to cataract services for populations with cataract blindness (and visual impairment) in LMICs.
Technical Report
Full-text available
In the spirit of respect, we acknowledge this country as belonging to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia. We acknowledge the support and contributions of our colleagues at Muru Marri, the team who developed the three Returning Home Back to Community from Custodial Care projects for their generosity of time and insight an...
Book
Full-text available
The first step in breaking the vicious cycle of disadvantage and empowering young indigenous Australians is to look at our communities' circumstances through a different lens. Research by Muru Marri reported in The Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Indigenous Youth: Reviewing and Extending the Evidence and Examining its Implications for Policy and...
Article
Mental Health Care Services are part of the National Health Services for Samoa. Their function is to provide mental health care services to the population of Samoa, which numbers 180,000 people. However, like many other countries in the Pacific region, mental health is considered a low priority. The mental health budget allocation barely covers the...
Article
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Purpose: To determine barriers to seeking eye care services in Timor-Leste in 2010, and compare this to similar analyses undertaken 5 years previously. Methods: An interview-based questionnaire used in a 2005 survey was re-administered as part of a population-based cross-sectional survey of adults selected by multistage random sampling from thos...
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Delivering eye health services to people in rural areas, especially in fragile, post-conflict countries, is a major challenge. This article reports on the implementation and evaluation of an innovative district-based outreach service. The main project partners were the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health and an international non-government organization,...
Article
The Solomon Islands comprise an archipelago of nearly 1,000 islands and coral atolls and have an estimated population of 549,574 people. Formal mental health services date back to 1950 when an asylum was established. Since then the process of mental health service development has been largely one of incremental change, with a major boost to communi...
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Full-text available
This paper describes a collaborative capacity-building project in the identification and management of mood disorders, involving the Black Dog Institute in Sydney, Australia, and several organizations in Sri Lanka, and presents the qualitative evaluation findings. The two-year project comprised an initial intensive educational program delivered at...
Article
The Vision 2020: Right to Sight Initiative calls for the inclusion of primary eye care (PEC) in primary healthcare interventions. To date, there is no agreement on a definition for PEC or how best to implement it.1 It has variously involved village health workers (VHWs) delivering health education to communities to prevent eye diseases, or …
Article
Objective: This paper describes a training program in mood disorders for senior mental health clinicians in the Pacifi c region and presents the qualitative evaluation fi ndings. Method : The program, which incorporated a 2-week intensive course in Sydney and follow-up in-country, was undertaken by 13 clinicians from the Ministries of Health in sev...
Article
With a population of 245,000 spread mostly over six groups of islands and a total land area of 12,189 km2, Vanuatu is one of the larger Pacific Island countries. Compared to other Pacific Island countries of similar or larger size, mental health has received little attention from government until very recently. While systematic studies are lacking,...
Article
Full-text available
Mental disorders and psychosocial problems are common, and present a significant public health burden globally. Increasingly, attention has been devoted to these issues in the aftermath of violent conflict. The Solomon Islands, a small Pacific island nation, has in recent years experienced periods of internal conflict. This article examines how pol...
Article
Objective: This paper describes a training program in mood disorders for senior mental health clinicians in the Pacifi c region and presents the qualitative evaluation fi ndings. Method : The program, which incorporated a 2-week intensive course in Sydney and follow-up in-country, was undertaken by 13 clinicians from the Ministries of Health in sev...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes a training program in mood disorders for senior mental health clinicians in the Pacific region and presents the qualitative evaluation findings. The program, which incorporated a 2-week intensive course in Sydney and follow-up in-country, was undertaken by 13 clinicians from the Ministries of Health in seven Pacific Island coun...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has revealed low levels of mental health service utilisation and widespread discrimination towards people with mental illness in Sydney's Macedonian community. As an extension to a multifaceted community intervention to improve mental health literacy and reduce stigma, a Macedonian-language play was produced. Qualitative data from...
Article
Full-text available
Women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes; this risk is higher in non-Caucasian women. This study explored the beliefs, attitudes, social support, environmental influences and other factors related to diabetes risk behaviours among Arabic, Cantonese/Mandarin, and English speaking wom...
Article
In the article entitled ‘Fear and Shame: using theatre to destigmatise mental illness in an Australian Macedonian community’ by Blignault et al., an incorrect year was used. Page 124, col. 2, para 3, line 3 should read: When asked who they would contact for help if someone they knew was showing signs of mental illness, 84% of the overall sample nom...
Article
Full-text available
Mental health services are under-utilised by the Macedonian community in south-east Sydney. This project investigated attitudes and beliefs towards mental illness in this community and used the findings to inform a multifaceted community intervention to reduce stigma and improve mental health literacy. The study was conducted in two phases. In Phas...
Article
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Qualitative research methodologies, which are oriented to better understanding of the context, meaning and experiences of people's lives, have much to contribute to health promotion. For researchers trained in quantitative methods, writing up qualitative research for a peer-reviewed journal can be a challenge, especially keeping within the prescrib...
Article
A series of 109 adult orthopaedic inpatients was interviewed about alcohol and other drug use and alcohol-related problems in general in the week preceding admission to hospital. The most frequently used drugs were alcohol (reported by 75%), tobacco (53%), analgesics (28%) and cannabis (15%). Alcohol was used hazardously by 28% of patients. More pa...
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Full-text available
Psychosocial and mental health needs in the aftermath of conflict and disaster have attracted substantial attention. In the Solomon Islands, the conceptualisation of mental health, for several decades regarded by policy makers as primarily a health issue, has broadened and been incorporated into the national development and social policy agendas, r...
Article
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Recognising that the stance of investigators could make a major impact on the quality and/or interpretation of development-study findings, a small investigation to explore researcher positions and roles was implemented. This was a subsidiary component of a larger health-development study which aimed to explore the evidence base for psychosocial and...
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Chinese-language speakers comprise the largest non-English speaking population in Australia but they have among the lowest rates of mental health services utilisation. A bilingual (Mandarin/English) researcher conducted in-depth interviews with China-born mental health patients and members of the general community, and mental health service provide...
Article
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Aboriginal grandmothers (grannies) in many communities throughout Australia are considered the backbone of the social structure. This is the case for the Murri Granies in a town in regional eastern Australia. Many of these women are also their grandchildren's primary caregivers and disciplinarians, and sometimes this role is detrimental to their ow...
Article
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We explored the feasibility and acceptability of delivering cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) via videoconference to clients with depression and/or anxiety living in rural north Queensland. The study involved 15 mental health clients and their five case managers. First, each case manager was instructed in the use of telemedicine for clinical cons...
Article
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In multicultural Australia, comprehensive and up-to-date information on ethnicity and health is essential to guide policy and service development in the health sector. Data collected for purposes other than research are a potentially important source of information. This study explored the extent to which indicators of cultural and linguistic diver...
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NSW is one of Australia's most multicultural states, with 29 per cent of residents having been born overseas and 24 per cent speaking a language other than English at home. Given that rates of death and disease and patterns of health service utilisation differ across cultural variables such as region or country of birth, a better understanding of t...
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Full-text available
We conducted a national survey of Australian hospitals to assess their use of telehealth. Information was sought from the 814 hospitals with 10 or more beds, excluding the small number that provided only day surgery and seven for which we could not identify a contact person. A total of 564 replies were received (a 69% response rate). Nationally, ne...
Article
A national survey of mental health telemedicine programmes was conducted and data collected on their catchment areas, organizational structure, equipment, clinical and non-clinical activity, and use by populations who traditionally have been poorly served by mental health services in Australia. Of 25 programmes surveyed, information was obtained fo...
Article
Networking North Queensland (NNQ) was a two-year project to improve access to health services in rural and remote communities. The project involved email and Internet access in 61 communities, in a region almost three times the size of the UK. Videoconferencing equipment was also installed at 21 sites and a total of 197 h of videoconferencing was r...
Article
Videoconferencing was introduced in the Queensland health service in 1995. By the end of 1999, there were more than 150 videoconferencing units in health facilities around the state. Six audits of videoconferencing usage were conducted using similar methodology at six-month intervals from November 1997 to May 2000. Between November 1997 and Novembe...
Article
The objective was to review multipoint videoconferencing in Queensland Health from July 1996 to June 1999. Most videoconferencing has been conducted using desktop systems connected by integrated systems digital network (ISDN) at 128 kbps. Data on utilization and problems were extracted from monthly reports and a survey was conducted. Multipoint vid...
Article
All technology requires training. Simply installing videoconferencing equipment in a hospital or health centre, and leaving the manufacturer's manual nearby, is not sufficient to encourage or maintain its use for telemedicine. Presenting clinicians and other users with thick policy and procedure documents to be read and understood is also not helpf...
Article
Telehealth is a rapidly growing field, with developments in all Australian States and Territories and New Zealand. In the complex environment of the health system, strenuous efforts must be made to establish meaningful statistics and data against which the costs and benefits of new initiatives can be measured and compared with alternative approache...
Article
Using videoconferencing technology, educational programs in neonatology were provided for staff at rural hospitals. The technology was also used to reunite babies with their families and its usefulness in long-distance diagnosis was assessed. Eighty-two educational sessions were delivered over a 9 month period and, despite problems with technology,...
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Full-text available
We conducted a simple comparison of the costs associated with delivering a mental health service by telepsychiatry and by conventional methods. The telepsychiatry rural outreach service was delivered to a mining town 900 km from the regional hospital in Townsville. When the telemedicine service was well established, 40 cases a month were seen for g...
Article
Aboriginal males and females aged 15 years and over were recruited from patients attending community-controlled health services in Perth and Carnarvon, Western Australia. Questions were asked about present and past use of alcohol. Rates of abstinence and drinking cessation were greater than in the general population. Both samples contained sizeable...
Article
Full-text available