The commercial determinants of Indigenous health and well-being: a systematic scoping review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • IntroductionHealth inequity within Indigenous populations is widespread and underpinned by colonialism, dispossession and oppression. Social and cultural determinants of Indigenous health and well-being are well described. Despite emerging literature on the commercial determinants of health, the health and well-being impacts of commercial activities for Indigenous populations is not well understood. We aimed to identify, map and synthesise the available evidence on the commercial determinants of Indigenous health and well-being.MethodsFive academic databases (MEDLINE Complete, Global Health APAPsycInfo, Environment Complete and Business Source Complete) and grey literature (Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, Google Scholar, Google) were systematically searched for articles describing commercial industry activities that may influence health and well-being for Indigenous peoples in high-income countries. Data were extracted by Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers and narratively synthesised.Results56 articles from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden were included, 11 of which were editorials/commentaries. The activities of the extractive (mining), tobacco, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, alcohol and gambling industries were reported to impact Indigenous populations. Forty-six articles reported health-harming commercial practices, including exploitation of Indigenous land, marketing, lobbying and corporate social responsibility activities. Eight articles reported positive commercial industry activities that may reinforce cultural expression, cultural continuity and Indigenous self-determination. Few articles reported Indigenous involvement across the study design and implementation.ConclusionCommercial industry activities contribute to health and well-being outcomes of Indigenous populations. Actions to reduce the harmful impacts of commercial activities on Indigenous health and well-being and future empirical research on the commercial determinants of Indigenous health, should be Indigenous led or designed in collaboration with Indigenous peoples.


  • Hill, Karen
  • Crocetti, Alessandro Connor
  • Cubillo (Larrakia), Beau
  • Lock (Ngiyampaa), Mark
  • Walker (Yorta Yorta), Troy
  • Hill (Torres Strait Islander), Karen
  • Mitchell (Mununjali), Fiona
  • Paradies (Wakaya), Yin
  • Backholer, Kathryn
  • Browne, Jennifer

publication date

  • November 2022