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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Health Promotion Journal of Australia Virtual Issue - Looking Back, Looking Forward - 30 years of the Ottawa Charter

In 1986, a new document began to be circulated through health professional networks, and in particular health education circles. It came to be called the 'Ottawa Charter', because its guiding principles were the result of an international conference held in Ottawa, Canada.

The succinct articulation of the themes around healthy public policy, healthy environments and reorienting health systems towards prevention helped re-frame the classic health education approach to embrace a broader health promotion approach including the social determinants of health.

This virtual issue of the Health Promotion journal revisits many of the classic articles produced during the 30 years of the Ottawa Charter.


What is a health promotion campaign? (1991)

Advocacy for health: revisiting the role of health promotion (2012)

Framework and tools for planning and evaluating community participation, collaborative partnerships and equity in health promotion (2008)

Using evidence in health promotion in local government: contextual realities and opportunities (2013)

The role of Health Impact Assessment in promoting population health and health equity (2009)

The case of national health promotion policy in Australia: where to now? (2016)

Global trade and health promotion (2007)

The role of health promotion: between global thinking and local action (2006)

Reflections on the framing of 'health equity' in the National Primary Health Care Strategic Framework: a cause for celebration or concern? (2014)

Forming, managing and sustaining alliances for health promotion (2005)

Urban design and health: progress to date and future challenges (2014)

An Indigenous model of health promotion (2004)

Friday, 17 June 2016

Reducing discharge against medical advice in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander patients

An issues brief from the Deeble Institute (AHHA) looks at the role of Aboriginal Health Workers and Liaison Officers in trying to reduce instances of self-discharge, particularly in rural and remote communities.

An evidence-based approach to reducing discharge against medical advice amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients by Caitlin Shaw, makes a number of recommendations, including:

* Improving cultural competency training and cultural safety frameworks in hospitals

* Developing a nationally recognised scope of practice for Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) and Aboriginal Liaison Officers (ALOs)

* Developing more flexible community-based care models to provide culturally appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Primary health care-based programmes targeting potentially avoidable hospitalisations in vulnerable groups with chronic disease

Reductions in potentially avoidable hospitalisations (PAHs) and emergency department (ED) presentations are important health care policy benchmarks and represent potential for improved health outcomes, efficiency and cost savings. This research aimed to examine the outcomes of interventions targeting reductions in PAHs and/or avoidable ED presentations among people with chronic disease. The main focus was on the role of primary health care and programmes that targeted specific vulnerable populations, including Indigenous Australians, rural and remote residents and those living in socioeconomic disadvantage.

Key findings

Trends in PAH and ED presentation rates

* PAH rates are high, but mostly stable for chronic and acute conditions in the general population, but they have increased for vaccine-preventable conditions
* PAHs are higher in vulnerable populations (Indigenous Australians, rural/remote residents, socioeconomically disadvantaged, elderly)
* Chronic diseases account for more than half of all PAHs, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
* Despite widespread implementation of chronic disease management programmes, there is no statistically significant reduction in the rates of PAH and ED presentation.

Overview of programmes to reduce PAHs and ED presentations
* Key predictors of PAHs, ED presentations and readmissions include: older age, low socioeconomic status, ethnicity, rurality, comorbidities, mental illness and substance use and being widowed or separated
* Elements of successful programmes are largely context- and condition-specific as PAH rates vary according to different chronic conditions and disease severity; therefore, flexibility in approaches is needed

Primary health care-based interventions that showed significant reductions in rates of PAH and ED presentations included:
* Continuity of GP care (condition-dependent)
* GP management plan with team care arrangement (e.g., diabetes)
* Multidisciplinary team care, with gerontologist and integrated social care for the elderly; and with care coordinators to liaise with GPs, hospital and other services
* Comprehensive, flexible vertical and horizontal integration of primary health care with hospital and community-based services
* Home care for socioeconomically disadvantaged and the elderly
* For Indigenous Australians, evidence was highly variable and condition-specific, often related to multiple disadvantage (remoteness, advanced illness, low socioeconomic status and poor health literacy). Programmes that are culturally appropriate and integrated across sectors are more likely to reduce PAHs
* For rural/remote residents, flexible design and implementation to address problems of access and social isolation are more effective
* Cost of accessing care, multimorbidity and low literacy are key barriers for in low socioeconomic situations
* Flexible, individualised approaches, nurse coordinator involvement and interventions that involve integration across primary health care, acute and community care may influence the rates of PAH.

For more detail see the Summary and the Full report

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Alzheimer's: Risk, Diagnosis, Therapy & Treatment and Caregiving

To raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease, Wiley Online has created a free research collection focusing on its diagnosis and treatment. The collection comprises 15 freely available articles.

Alzheimer's: Risk | Diagnosis | Therapy & Treatment | Caregiving

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2014-15 (AIHW)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new report and web updates on 15 June, 2016:

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2014-15

* In 2014-15, around 850 alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 170,000 treatment episodes to around 115,000 clients.
* The top 4 drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (38% of treatment episodes), cannabis (24%), amphetamines (20%) and heroin (6%).
* The proportion of episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines has continued to increase over the last 10 years, from 11% of treatment episodes in 2005-06 to 20% in 2014-15.
* The median age of clients in AOD treatment services is increasing, 33 years in 2014-15, up from 31 in 2005-06.

Media release: 1 in 200 Australians seek treatment for alcohol and other drugs

Report: Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2014-15

Web pages: Alcohol and other drugs data

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Latest Research from the Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

Vol. 33, No. 4 2016 of the Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing is now available free online :

Feature articles include

* The art of clinical supervision
* Home oxygen therapy for COPD patients discharged for hospital: the Respiratory NP Model of care.
* The role of advance care planning in end-of-life care for residents of aged care facilities.
* Key milestones in the operalisation of professional nursing ethics in Australia.
* A nurses' guide to mixed methods research

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015 (AIHW)

Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015 outlines the workforce characteristics of nurses and midwives in 2015. The total number of all nurses and midwives registered in Australia increased from 330,680 in 2011 to 360,008 in 2015 (8.9%).

In 2015, 91.9% of all registered nurses and midwives were in the nursing and midwifery workforce (331,015). Of these, 8,930 were looking for work in nursing and midwifery, down from 9,110 in 2014. In 2015, the overall supply of employed nurses and midwives was 1,138 full-time equivalents or FTEs for every 100,000 people. This compares with the figure of 1,107 FTEs per 100,000 in 2011. In 2011 and 2015, there were more employed nurses and midwives in the 50-54 year age group than any other age group. The proportion aged 50 and over grew from 38.3% in 2011 to 39.0% in 2015. The proportion in 2014 was 39.4%.

View web page: Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015

View graphic: Nurses and midwives 2015

Monday, 30 May 2016

Tackling drug-resistant infections globally

The British Government engaged economist Jim O'Neill to analyse the global issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and propose ways to cope with it internationally from both a social and economic point of view. O'Neill's independent report,"Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: final report and recommendations has recently been released.

The report first discusses the growing problem of AMR and why action is needed. It then proposes some ways to curtail unnecessary use and increase the supply of new antimicrobials, before looking at social measures such as public awareness campaigns, improvements in sanitation and hygiene, reducing pollution, improving global surveillance and introducing rapid diagnostics and vaccines. The economic implications of innovation funds, market entry awards and global funding are also examined, as well as ways to build political and international consensus.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Cancer mortality trends and projections update (AIHW web update)

Cancer mortality trends and projections update is a web-based release presenting mortality projections for selected cancers and all cancers combined from 2014 to 2025 based on mortality trends from 1968 to 2013.

Cancer death rates have generally decreased over time, with the death rate from all cancers combined decreasing from 199 deaths per 100,000 people in 1968 to 166 per 100,000 in 2013. Between 2014 and 2025 the death rate from all cancers combined is projected to continue an overall downward trend from an estimated 208 to 180 deaths per 100,000 males, and from 133 to 120 deaths per 100,000 females.

View web page: Cancer mortality trends and projections: 2014-2025

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Eye health workforce in Australia (AIHW)

Eye health workforce in Australia presents the latest available data on the eye health workforce in Australia. It also provides a baseline for reporting against workforce capacity indicators.

In 2011, the latest year for which data were available for most professions, there were over 800 ophthalmologists, around 4,000 optometrists and over 6,000 allied ophthalmic personnel (orthoptists, optical dispensers, optical mechanics, orientation and mobility specialists and occupational therapists specialising in eye health) in the eye health workforce.

Rural suicide

Mental health experts want federal election candidates to support suicide prevention trials in regional Australia after releasing a report revealing suicide rates exceeded road fatalities in 28 electorates audited between 2009 and 2012.

Ian Hickie from the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre said leading mental health advocates want candidates to commit to a national suicide prevention program and support a suicide prevention trial in 12 regions.

"It's really the rural and regional areas that suffer the most," said Professor Hickie, who noted that economic impacts such as the mining downturn, drought, and the closure of regional industries were major risk factors.

"They're the areas in which we see high suicide rates two to three times the national average and we need focused intensive activity in those communities."

The audit of 28 electorates shows suicide rates exceeded the road toll in every electorate surveyed, while 23 of the 28 seats had high to extremely high suicide rates.

Report and further information downloads

Let’s talk about success: exploring factors behind positive change in Aboriginal communities

What are the factors that enable some Aboriginal organisations to drive positive change in their communities?

Let's talk about success: exploring factors behind positive change in Aboriginal communities draws on interviews with leaders of successful Aboriginal organisations to understand the factors behind the successes that they are achieving in their communities. It explores how they define and assess success and what they see as the factors behind their achievements. It discusses the challenges and critical turning points they have faced and what enables them to sustain their success. It also explores what they say are distinctively Aboriginal features about the way they work. The paper finds considerable continuities with previous studies of Aboriginal organisations, but also outlines some of the successful strategies they use in working with their communities.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Primary health care (AIHW)

Primary health care is a new web product providing an overview of the primary health care system and the delivery of health care services in Australia. As part of this new product, a web page dedicated to Primary Health Network (PHN) data has been developed that consolidates published Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data disaggregated at the PHN level. This data may assist PHNs with their performance monitoring and population health planning.

In addition, this web product includes the release of a new product known as 'Mortality Over Regions and Time' (MORT) Books. These books present national mortality data at the PHN level and also by selected geographical areas, including remoteness area, socioeconomic group and Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3). The analysis includes the leading causes of death and trends over time.

View web page: Primary health care

Mortality Over Regions and Time (MORT) books

Community Paediatric Review

Community Paediatric Review, produced by the Centre for Community and Child Health at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, supports health professionals in caring for children and their families through the provision of evidence-based information on current health issues. Each edition includes articles for professionals and information sheets for families.

Community Paediatric Review publications and parent information sheets can be downloaded free from the archives listed below (editions date back to 2000). Previous topics covered include: Child mental health, encouraging your child's language, asthma, ear, nose & throat health, travelling safely with children, probiotics and many others.

Latest edition: Child behaviour and emotional regulation Vol 24 No. 2, May 2016

As children grow and develop, they learn to regulate their emotions and manage their behaviour. On the way to learning those skills, young children express their wide range of emotional responses in ways that can create stress and anxiety for parents and caregivers – sometimes their behaviour will include aggression, defiance and/or hyperactivity. Child and family health nurses can play an important role in helping parents to nurture their child's developing mind and, along the way, help their children to develop their emotional regulation skills.

To receive each edition of Community Paediatric Review direct to your inbox Sign up here

The Community Paediatric Review is just one of several resources available for download.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

New course will help improve the mental health of older people

beyondblue has launched a free online course to help aged care workers recognise or manage depression and anxiety in the older people they work with, while safeguarding their own mental health. The course, Professional Education to Aged Care (PEAC), has been designed to suit aged care professionals in a range of roles, in both residential and community care settings.

Media release: New course will help improve the mental health of older people