Herceptin effectively targets HER2 protein production and helps stop the growth of cancer cells.
GELLER, J. 'Food and Drug Administration approves 4 new medical devices' Journal of Clinical Engineering October/December 2008 vol 33(4) p. 166-68.
FDA Press Release
The report reveals an increased prevalence of cancer diagnosis across Australia, but also increased survival times for most forms of cancer
Also available : National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report 2008
Enquiries to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Indigenous Participation in Regional Labour Markets 2001-2006 Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at ANU, states " In effect, after decades of government policy aimed at enhancing Indigenous workforce participation , the gap in employment rates barely shifted ".
In November 2008, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) published State of World Population 2008 "Reaching Common Ground: Culture, Gender and Human Rights", with a Youth Supplement "Generation of Change: Young People and Culture". The 9 chapter report is both heart wrenching and eye-opening. The supplement offers a photo gallery and a wide range of stories from today's youth
"The most sustainable and important recommendation I want to discuss relates to how we enhance an effective Aboriginal workforce, as not only does that bring economic power to families, but also raises self esteem and longer term success. I will ... leave you with a commitment and a sense of hope that we can and must collectively tackle this major human rights issue in Australia."
In Western NSW the University of Sydney - Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health and the North West Slopes (NSW) Division of General Practice are among the successful organisations.
Anderson, I. et al. Australian Health Review November 2008 vol. 32 No. 4 p. 626-638.
Contact your nearest GWAHS Library for copies.
Occupational health and safety risk factors for rural and metropolitan nurses: comparative results from a national nurses survey
The Office of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council conducted a survey in February 2007 on occupational exposures in Australian nurses. This report describes the differences in perceived occupational hazards for rural (or remote) and metropolitan nurses that were found in the 2007 survey in order to inform and facilitate effective policy formulation and OHS intervention.
The 139 wide-ranging reform recommendations (summarised in the Overview) include :
* Compulsory rural terms for Medical Officers to aid recruitment
* Rural/city hospital partnerships
* An education program for all clinical teachers
* Creation of a Senior Registered Nurse grade to assist retention of RNs of over 10 years experience.
* Enhanced Allied Health services
* Creation of a contracted pool of emergency relief staff.
According to the Report Card, compared with their non-Indigenous counterparts, Indigenous children were:
* More likely to be stillborn, to be born pre-term, to have low birth weight, or die in the first month of life;
* Two to three times more likely to die in the first year of life;
* 11 times more likely to die from respiratory causes;
* At a much higher risk of suffering from infectious and parasitic diseases, respiratory and circulatory problems, hearing loss, rheumatic fever, dental caries, injuries and clinically-significant emotional and behavioural difficulties;
* Nearly 30 times more likely to suffer from nutritional anaemia and malnutrition up to four years of age; and
* Cared for by substantially fewer adults, who had serious health risks themselves.
Other initiatives recommended in the AMA Report Card include the establishment of culturally appropriate services addressing mental health and social and emotional well-being.
The report also argues for increased development of the Indigenous health and medical workforce, a national audit to measure quality of housing, access to clean water and sanitation and for the Australian Government to coordinate improvements in national data management regarding Indigenous identification and health status.The Report includes a Good News and Best Practice insert which contains case studies of successful local health initiatives that have been developed and sustained by Indigenous people in their local communities.
You can register to receive your FREE Braver, Stronger, Wiser DVD by calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or filling in the order form.
The DVD aims both to celebrate the life and resilience of rural Australia, and to help counter disturbing suicide statistics coming out of many farming communities. It shares the stories of four people living in rural and remote Australia who have struggled with - and sought help to manage - various forms of depression.
The DVD features an extensive range of resources including emergency contact numbers, a link to The Salvation Army's Hope for Life online suicide prevention training program, expert advice from Professor Michael Baigent of Beyondblue, and much more.
From mid-December this year, The Salvation Army will freely distribute 500,000 of the DVDs to more than one million rural Australians, including mailing it to 51,000 of Australia's most remote households who have access to few or no medical or counselling services. It will also be distributed through rural GP networks, Salvation Army corps (churches), rural chaplains, 50 rural ABC radio stations, rural postal agencies, and rural Landcare offices.
Other health trends in NSW include a significant fall in the levels of risky drinking from 10 years ago (down from 50.4 per cent to 37.2 per cent for men and from 36.3 per cent to 27 per cent for women) as well as smoking rates declining for both men and women by four and 5.9 per cent respectively since 1998.
However, death rates from lung cancer have increased in women since 1997 - for men it dropped by 25 per cent - because smoking rates in women have been declining only for the past 20 years or so.
Suicide rates have also dropped, though mental health is a major priority. About one in six NSW secondary school students reported high levels of psychological distress in 2005.
NSW also had high rates of immunisation: 91.7 per cent of children are now fully immunised, leading to a fall in notifications for diseases including rubella, whooping cough and measles.
The people of New South Wales generally live long and productive lives. A child born in 2006 would now expect to live 79.3 years if male and 84.2 years if female, an increase of just under 3 years since 1997. Australian longevity was third only to Japan and Switzerland in 2006.
This report provides key information on the status of the health of our community, current challenges and inequities and trends in these factors. It provides information to all those working to improve health on the effectiveness of their programs. The report should allow the public to take steps to maintain healthy lives.
This is the seventh report in a series that was first published in 1996. In 2008 the "Summary Report" contains summarised information in tables and graphs on 71 indicators with very little explanatory text. It includes comparisons of key indicators by Health Area, trends over time, an overview of each of the 18 chapters in the e-CHO as well as detailed studies on two special topics. In 2008 these are on "Inequalities in Mortality" and "Childhood overweight and obesity".
Discussion and information papers have been released and formal consultations will begin in early 2009.
Discussion papers and details of the consultative process can be downloaded from
go to National Men's Health Policy Resource Kit.
The Research to Practice briefings, prepared by The Benevolent Society and the Social Policy Research Centre, aim to bring research evidence to community aged care workers in a user-friendly way, so that they and the older people they work with can benefit from putting evidence into practice.
The first briefing in the series is "Caring for Older Australians: Care workers and care practices that support and enable good care". The second briefing in the series, "Promoting social networks for older people in community aged care" will be released in early 2009. Briefings will be produced 3 times a year in hard copy format and on the internet.
* the direct impacts of climate change such as extreme weather events will have significant mental health implications;
* climate change is already impacting on the social, economic and environmental determinants of mental health with the most severe consequences being felt by disadvantaged communities and populations;
* understanding the full extent of the long term social and environmental challenges posed by climate change has the potential to create emotional distress and anxiety; and
* understanding the psycho-social implications of climate change is also an important starting point for informed action to prevent dangerous climate change at individual, community and societal levels.
The benefits of physical activity are well known and this report found that between 2001 and 2004, the percentage of mid-aged women doing 30 minutes of physical activity on most days rose from 45 to 54 per cent - primarily attributed to walking. Australian guidelines recommend 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week for health benefits. The evidence reviewed in this report suggests that middle-aged or older women gain few, if any, additional health benefits from any more vigorous exercise than this. Interesting.
Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings
In essence the program is concerned with contributing to the development of psycho-social services that assist people to deal with the many challenges associated with serious physical and/or mental illness. The core work is to *make a difference* and this is achieved through research, publication, education and consultancy activities. On the IPP-SHR website there are Projects, Programs and a large number of podcasts on such topics as Eating Disorders, Early-Stage Alzheimer's Disease, Humour in Critical Care Settings, Drug Administration Errors, Assessing Cardiovascular Risk and Pediatric Pain Management.
Re posted from NCAHS Library Clippings
The major issue again this year has been the decline in the Federal Government's share of public hospital funding and the need to establish a proper base level of funding given that 5 yearly renewal of funding is to be ceased. This shortfall in funding is leading to a shortage of beds which is in turn impacting on the ability of public hospitals to meet key performance measures in relation to access to Emergency Department treatments and acute care admissions.
Prolonged drought and increasing social isolation are being blamed for new figures showing 34 in every 100,000 male farmers commit suicide, which is significantly up on the 24 per 100,000 among rural men generally.
It also focuses on the dysfunctional response of mainstream Australian political institutions to the accelerating crisis in the Aboriginal world.
The Map uses groundbreaking information technology to present population data about Australians diagnosed with diabetes. It shows the numbers of people diagnosed with diabetes in all parts of Australia with information on age, gender and type of diabetes.
The data in the Map has been sourced from the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Registrant database. The Map can be searched by state, electorate and postcode and also provides breakdowns by gender, age and type of diabetes.
First Taste : how Indigenous Australians learned about grog by Maggie Brady, is a set of 6 booklets aimed at challenging the myths and misconceptions surrounding Indigenous alcohol problems. The history of Indigenous contact with alcohol is examined in a series of short chunks suitable for community education. First set available free. See link for order form.
A.J. McMichael and others / National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
National adaptation research plan (human health): consultation draft
Climate change poses direct and indirect risks to health. Direct risks include physical injury because of more frequent events such as bushfire, and increased heat-related death and disease. Indirect risks include more infectious diseases transmitted through vectors such as insects, and mental and physical health difficulties that typically follow social and economic disruption and dislocation such as drought. The diversity of health risks from climate change presents a direct challenge to the health sector, including acute health-care and the public health system. Many health-protecting activities will need to be undertaken by other sectors of government and industry, as well as by individuals and communities. This Plan will guide researchers generating the information Australia needs to develop an effective and equitable portfolio of adaptive strategies.
National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: summary of results, 2007 (Australian Bureau of Statistics)
The closing date for submissions is 27 February 2009. Submission details (and online forms) are available at the Strategy website.
Also available : "Life Guide for Young People with Diabetes on the Move" and "Understanding gestational diabetes".
Details and order forms
Three filmed case studies of interventions that aim to reduce isolation and build stronger networks and communities are featured. They include a program for young mothers in Mildura, Vic; a workshop on fathering in Nowra, on the south coast of NSW; and a community-building project in Kalumburu, an Indigenous community in Western Australia. The program will be of interest to GPs, nurses, allied health professionals, Aboriginal health workers, youth officers and community workers.
Registration (free) required to order.
An international comparison of 42 measures of childhood wellbeing shows Australia ranks 13th out of 23 OECD countries on childhood mental health. Indigenous children fare disproportionately badly across a range of indicators from infant mortality through teenage pregnancy and exposure to poverty. Australian children are four times more likely to be living in poverty than a child in Finland, with 12% of children living in Australian households where the income is less than 50% of the national median on the most recent measure. About 7.2% of children report having fewer than 11 books in their home, a figure that sits at 19% for Aboriginal children.
Australian rates of asthma remain high by international standards. Of particular concern is that:
* Australians with asthma continue to smoke almost as commonly as people without asthma, despite the known adverse effects.
* An estimated 11% of Australian children with asthma live in homes where smoking occurs inside the home.
* The majority of people with asthma do not have a written asthma action plan, even though national guidelines have recommended their use for the past 20 years.
* Asthma is a major problem among Indigenous Australians. Compared with non-Indigenous Australians, they have higher rates of hospitalisation and mortality due to asthma.
There will be a variety of workshops in the Central West and New England areas which will help farmers and residents of local communities gain an understanding of depression and anxiety, their signs and symptoms and the early warning signs that a person needs professional assistance.
A review of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australian peoples - considerations, challenges and opportunities
Darren Garvey is an Indigenous professional with experience as a recipient and provider of services aimed at addressing the social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) needs of Indigenous people, and as an academic involved in the training of Indigenous and non-Indigenous professionals in providing such services.
The National Preventative Health Taskforce, in its report Obesity in Australia : a need for urgent action has warned that unhealthy lifestyles will soon impose a heavy toll on life as well as health budgets, with a projected increase in Type 2 diabetes likely to add $6 billion to the nation's healthcare bills.
To reduce the consumption of harmful high-fat foods, the paper -- released by federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon yesterday -- suggests restricting junk food advertising, particularly to children, taxing unhealthy foods, regulating sugar and fat content, making food labelling clearer and encouraging people to walk more through consistent town and building planning. The research suggests that obesity alone -- not including people who are merely overweight -- is costing $8.3billion a year in healthcare and other costs.
An additional $900,000 will be provided for 16 additional projects that will deliver immediate improvements for remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.All projects will provide new employment and training opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
Professor Hails, the principal advisor for mental health nurses at NSW Health’s nursing and midwifery office and adjunct associate professor at CSU’s school of nursing and midwifery, delivered the lecture on Wednesday.
Click on the link to view the media release , report and data tables .
The panel discussed the need for an improved drought policy which helps farmers plan for the future and prepare and adapt for the social, environmental and economic impacts of future droughts.
According to the Mental Health Council of Australia, one out of every five Australians will experience some form of mental illness each year, and three out of every hundred will be seriously affected. Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental disorders experienced by Australians. Depression alone is predicted to be one of the world's largest health problems by 2020.
An overview of the economic impact of Indigenous disadvantage : Access Economics / Reconciliation Australia
The report concludes there is a "clear economic justification for government action to reduce Indigenous disadvantage" based on a reduction in the burden of disease and an improvement in the ability of Indigenous Australians to contribute to and share economic prosperity.
Trends in Aged Care Services : Some Implications looking at trends and demand for aged care services. Productivity Commission
This background paper defines and summarizes the concept of Evidence-Informed Public Health. The paper also includes a compendium of critical appraisal tools to help you incorporate the best research evidence into public health practice and policy development.
Making progress: the health, development and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people (AIHW)
AIHW catalogue number PHE 104.
The blunt diagnosis from the National Rural Health Alliance to the Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, when they meet on Wednesday will be that Australia's rural health system is broken and radical treatment is needed to fix it. The alliance represents 28 different groups that deliver health services in the bush, from GPs to nurses to physiotherapists.
"Creating futures : Research, Practice and Policy" : a Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health conference in Cairns will also address the possible impacts. Report
AIHW catalogue number PHE 103 (Internet only)
Media release : City versus bush.
$600,000 dementia training resources - as part of Dementia Awareness
The three dementia training resources developed as part of the
Australian Government*s Dementia Initiative - are:
* "Local Knowledge: A dementia care e-learning resource for rural
and remote aged care workers" focuses on people living in regional
* "Strangers in a Strange Land: Cultural Competence in Dementia
Care" focuses on people from culturally and linguistically diverse
* "2 Young 4 Dementia - Meeting the Needs of People with Younger
Onset Dementia" to support improved dementia awareness and care for
younger people with dementia, their carers and families in a variety of
work and care environments.
Copies of these free resources can be ordered by email
The study found that relapse prevention and long-term efficacy are primary concerns facing Australian psychiatrists treating people with serious mental health illness. Almost three-quarters of Australian psychiatrists say up to 60% of their own patients discontinue their medication without consulting them. Some 86% report feeling frustrated at this. In almost all cases (99%) they felt this resulted in a relapse. In fact, hospitalisation (95%), social isolation, relationship breakdown and inability to work (all 88%) are cited by Australian psychiatrists as the major fall-out from bipolar and schizophrenia relapse.
Release of the Keeping Complete Data coincides with Australia hosting the 5th World Conference on Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders in Melbourne (September 10-12). Keeping Care Complete was developed as a partnership between the World Federation for Mental Health and Eli Lilly and Company.
Other resources available from the Federation website include "Learning about bipolar ", "Life is a classroom" (child mental health website) and "Understanding generalized anxiety disorder".
The Review will:
o canvass a wide range of issues relevant to maternity services, including antenatal services, birthing options, postnatal services up to six weeks after birth, and peer and social support for women in the perinatal period;
o ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to participate; and
o inform the development of a National Maternity Services Plan.
The success of the Review depends largely upon the participation of people and organisations in the community. The Review aims to provide the opportunity for all points of view in the community to be heard and considered. A consultation process will allow individuals, groups and organisations with an interest in maternity services to participate.
As part of the Review consultation process the Department has prepared, Improving Maternity Services in Australia: A Discussion Paper from the Australian Government (PDF 1468 KB), it is now seeking submissions (closing date 31 October, 2008) from interested stakeholders in response to the Discussion Paper.
If you are unable to access the PDF please send an email to Maternity.Services.Review@health.gov.au and an alternative copy will be provided.
Agnes Smink et al
Aim: To determine whether prenatal exposure to hexachlorobenzene (HCB) has potential adverse effects on child's weight and body mass index (BMI) in a general population with no local pollution sources.
Methods: Starting from mid 1997, all mothers presenting for antenatal exposure in Menorca were recruited. Subsequently, 482 children were enrolled. HCB was measured in cord blood. Weight and height were measured at birth and at age 6.5 years.
Results: Children with HCB levels higher than 1.03 ng/mL in cord blood were 1.14 kg (0.38) heavier and had a higher BMI (β= 0.80 (0.34)) than children with HCB levels lower than 0.46 ng/mL. No statistically significant associations were found in height. Children in the higher exposure group of HCB had an increased risk of 2.5 and 3.0 of being overweight and obese. Children from normalweight mothers also presented an increased risk of having higher BMI with increasing concentrations of HCB in cord serum.
Conclusion: Prenatal exposure to HCB is associated with an increase in BMI and weight at age 6.5 years. Further studies with larger samples and longer follow-up are needed to confirm these results.
Code of Ethics for Nurses - August 2008
Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses - August 2008
Code of Ethics for Midwives - August 2008
Code of Professional Conduct for Midwives - August 2008
Also available from the site are the earlier standards documents :
National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse, 4th ed, 2006
National Competency Standards for the Midwife, 1st ed, 2006
National Competency Standards for the Nurse Practitioner, 1st ed, 2006
National Competency Standards for the Enrolled Nurse, 2002
The MDB is an area of national significance for social, cultural, economic and environmental reasons. The social impacts of changes in agriculture and environmental events, such as drought, are important for people in the MDB. The MDB also contains nationally significant environmental assets which are reliant on water to maintain ecosystem health.
The Murray-Darling Basin Commission has also released several reports on the devastating effects of drought on the MDB
*illicit drug use has fallen from 14.6 p% in 2004 to 12.1% for 2007
*cannabis use fell from 10.7% in 2004 to 8% for 2007
*methamphetamine use decreased from 3.1% to 1.8% in 2007
*ecstasy use remained steady at 3.4% for 2007.
For alcohol use the survey found:
*low risk drinking decreased slightly from 49% in 2004 to 48.1% in 2007
*high risk drinking fell from 32.2% to 2004 to 31.8% in 2007
*daily drinking decreased from 8.8% in 2004 to 8.3% in 2007.
The results are based on a survey of more than 23,000 Australians conducted in 2007, and provide profiles of drug use and community attitudes in each of the states and territories.
Many of the 500+ submissions received are now available from the website, along with the Commission's set of principles and a report on a framework for the next Australian Health Care Agreements.
The guidelines take a strong evidence-based approach, looking at the patient in a holistic and individual way. Doctors are instructed to take blood pressure with strict adherence to technique, using both arms and on several occasions and in different settings, before diagnosing hypertension.
Whether the patient should be medicated depends on their personal risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next five years, taking into account factors such as age, weight, family history and lifestyle. People with diabetes, existing heart or arterial disease, chronic kidney disease and a strong family history of high cholesterol or early heart problems should be on blood pressure medication even if their blood pressure readings are in the normal range.
Doctors are instructed to manage the lifestyle risk factors in all patients, whether or not their blood pressure is elevated.
Also of interest on this topic, a W.A.Department of Health report Health impacts of climate change: Adaptation strategies for western Australia.
This package has been designed to support rural communities involved in managing change. The package is comprised of a theoretical framework, a how-to guide, community tools, templates and spreadsheets.
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06 Australian Capital Territory (AIHW catalogue number DEN 175)
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06 New South Wales (AIHW catalogue number DEN 176)
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06 Northern Territory (AIHW catalogue number DEN 177)
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06 Queensland (AIHW catalogue number DEN 178)
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06 South Australia (AIHW catalogue number DEN 179)
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06 Tasmania (AIHW catalogue number DEN 180)
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06 Victoria (AIHW catalogue number DEN 181)
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-06 Western Australia (AIHW catalogue number DEN 182)
Dental labour force in Australia, 2005 (Internet Only)
Dental hygienist labour force in Australia, 2005 (Internet Only)
Dental therapist labour force in Australia, 2005 (Internet Only)
Dental prosthetist labour force in Australia, 2005 (Internet Only)
Oral health of adult public dental patients (Internet Only)
Identifying cost-effective interventions to reduce the burden of harm associated with alcohol misuse in Australia
Also available from Can Print for $34.00 [AIHW Cat. No. HSE 56] (1300 889 873).
The report provides up to date scientific and clinical advice on how to reduce HAI by the use of the surveillance of processes of care and of infection rates of certain micro-organisms, in a variety of settings. The Commission reports that hospital infection rates could be halved if health workers simply washed their hands more regularly and more thoroughly. It has found that around 200,000 people each year are contracting infections within the healthcare system and two million extra bed days are occupied by patients because they have picked up healthcare associated infection. The total cost is about $20 million per year.
During 2007, judges selected five award recipients nationally, who were filmed on location to produce a documentary about their work.
The Inspirational Journeys documentary is available on DVD. If you would like to order your free copy, please contact Lilly on ph: 02 9325 4594.
Grey literature is material that is not formally published by commercial publishers or peer reviewed journals. It includes reports, fact sheets, conference proceedings and other documents from institutions, organisations, and government agencies. It is often hidden away on the Internet and difficult to unearth, but can be extremely valuable. This document gives a comprehensive and amazingly detailed list of databases and websites where you can freely find information on this topic.
Rural and remote public health (Special issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health V. 16, Iss. 2, April 2008)
As part of a wider response to this worrying problem, NSW Farmers Association,brought together a group of key stakeholders in the area of rural mental health, to discuss how best to work together to address rural and remote mental health issues. This forum, held in June 2005, resulted in the creation of a formal Rural Mental Health Network and a NSW Farmers Blueprint for Maintaining the Mental Health and Wellbeing of the People on NSW Farms (please click here for a pdf/printable version). The Blueprint is a simplified summary of key issues that need to be addressed.
Women's sexual and reproductive health: A literature review Karolyne Quinn and Jenny Ejlak / Women's Health Victoria
The NPHCP is working towards a primary health care system that works for the people who need and use it. It calls on the Australian Government to develop and implement a National Primary Health Care Policy, providing coordinated, evidence based, safe primary health care services delivered by multidisciplinary health care teams and accessable by all Australians irrespective of geographic, social, economic or cultural background in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Alma-Ata.
Rural Doctor's Association response
Key Drivers of Demand in the Emergency Department: A Hypothesis Driven Approach to Analyse Demand and Supply
The main finding of this review was that growth in Emergency Department services in NSW was generally consistent with that experienced in other states and that all states concluded that the reasons for increases were multi-factorial. The report contended that reasons for growth included issues such as the ageing population, GP access & practice issues, increased patient awareness of conditions that require immediate medical attention, of faster access to ED and ability to obtain all clinical and diagnostic services at a single location.
commitments and contributions of the different levels of government with regard to their respective roles and responsibilities. The Committee was asked to give special consideration to:
(a) the extent to which the action plan assists in achieving the aims and objectives of the National Mental Health Strategy;
(b) the overall contribution of the action plan to the development of a coordinated infrastructure to support community-based care;
(c) progress towards implementing the recommendations of the Select Committee on Mental Health, as outlined in its report "A national approach to mental health from crisis to community";
(d) identifying any possible remaining gaps or shortfalls in funding and in the range of services available for people with a mental illness.
This report outlines the committee's work to date and provides a broad summary of the themes arising in the evidence received. http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/mental_health/interim_report/index.htm