10 of the best research projects 2008

Australia has a proud history of producing groundbreaking health and medical research. This booklet, 10 of the best research projects 2008, showcases a selection of current projects and introduces some of the researchers who are continuing that tradition. Work on stem cells,diabetes, cancer, dental health and obesity in children are some of the research projects showcased here. Others include helping heal burns, making old wounds disappear, easing osteoarthritis and tackling male reproductive health. Together, these 10 represent the hundreds of highly successful international-standard projects the NHMRC funds each year.
Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

National Hand Hygiene Program Aims To Halve Hospital Superbug Infections

A new world-first national hand hygiene program is being rolled out across Australian hospitals in a bid to halve the rate of antibiotic-resistant "superbug" patient infections.The National Hand Hygiene Initiative is based on groundbreaking Australian research that shows using alcohol-based hand rub is the single most effective intervention in controlling Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infections (SAB), including the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or *golden staph* disease. It is a step-by-step program to improve hand hygiene in hospitals and other health services and to monitor hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers. If healthcare workers use alcohol-based hand rub before and after contact with patients in the prescribed way, the rate of Staphylococcus aureus infections is expected to halve. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has instigated, and is funding, the Initiative. The National Hand Hygiene Initiative began in early May, to coincide with the World Health Organization's Save Lives: Clean your Hands day.
Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

AIHW report 'Health and community services labour force 2006'

The Australian health & community services workforce increased by almost 23% between 2001 and 2006.

However the number of workers per 100,000 people reduced in proportion to the distance they were from metropolitan areas :

The number of health and community services workers in major cities ; 4,155 per 100,000. In inner regional areas ; 4,076. In outer regional areas ; 3,609.
In remote areas ; 3,076.


CHAIN network (Health and social care network)

CHAIN is an online mutual support network for people working in health and social care. CHAIN originated more than 11 years ago in the NHS Research & Development programme in the UK, and it is multi-professional and cross organisational,and is designed to connect like-minded health and social care practitioners,educators, researchers and managers. It is now international, with satellites in Australia, Canada, and Scandinavia, and members in 40 other countries worldwide. Membership is free.

CHAIN has 4 main components: research & evidence-based practice; education; innovation & improvement and cancer care. The network uses searchable online Directories to enable members to identify one another, and simple e-mails are the mechanism for networking.

To read more about CHAIN (including external evaluations of the network) visit the homepage

An overview of chronic kidney disease in Australia, 2009 (AIHW)

This report explains what chronic kidney disease is and describes its extent and patterns in the Australian community. Chronic kidney disease contributed to nearly 10% of all deaths in Australia in 2006 and over 1.1 million hospitalisations in 2006-07. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease are highly prevalent in Australia and the number of Australians at risk is increasing. Indigenous Australians in particular are at high risk.

Media release

Don't Turn a Night out into a Nightmare

*Four Australians under 25 die due to alcohol related injuries in an average week.
*On average, one in four hospitalisations of people aged 15-24 happens because of alcohol.
*Seventy Australians under 25 will be hospitalised due to alcohol-caused assault in an average week.
*One in two Australians aged 15-17 who get drunk will do something they regret.
The National Campaign with the theme "Don't turn a night out into a nightmare" has a number of resources for parents, over 18's and under 18's.
The campaign is one part of the Government*s National Binge Drinking Strategy.

Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

Youthbeyondblue mental health website launched

beyondblue: the national depression initiative has launched a new Youthbeyondblue website aimed at raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and associated drug and alcohol problems among young people - and where to get help.The website includes a wide range of new fact sheets on depression and anxiety-related topics, including how to help a friend, effective treatments, alcohol and depression, cannabis use, bullying, and eating disorders. All fact sheets can be downloaded or ordered via the website or by calling the beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636 .

According to beyondblue an estimated one in five adolescents experience a diagnosable depressive disorder by age 18. Around 6 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds (one in 16) have depression and 15 per cent (one in six) have anxiety.
Research has shown that if depression or other mental disorders are recognised and treated early, this may increase the chances of a better long-term outcome, however, most young people with depression or a common anxiety disorder report delays of five to 15 years before they receive treatment and care.

Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

Fact sheets - rural health issues (NRHA)

The National Rural Health Alliance has released nineteen fact sheets on a variety of issues relating to health in rural and remote areas. Topics include: obesity and nutrition in rural Australia; cancer in rural Australia; rural schools; mental health in rural Australia ; patient-assisted travel schemes and ageing in rural, regional and remote Australia.

Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse

The Clearinghouse is a national organisation, providing high quality information about domestic and family violence issues and practice. Features include:
* An online Research and Resources database containing details of over 3000 books, articles, posters, videos, training manuals and similar resources focusing on domestic and family violence
* An online Good Practice database containing details of programs, projects and services around Australia
* A separate compilation of Indigenous research, resources and good practice programs

A social health atlas of Australia (Third Edition) 2008

An interactive mapping and statistics site providing Australian demography and socioeconomic status, health status and risk factors. Able to be browsed and searched by country or state/ territory area. Produced by the Public Health Information Development Unit (PHIDU) at The University of Adelaide.

Report of the inquiry into the management and operations of the NSW Ambulance Service

There are 45 recommendations in the report related to culture and management, bullying and harassment , suicide, staffing , pay and award conditions , chief executive and legislation.

2008 Summary Report on Adult Health

This report presents the first results from the 2008 New South Wales Population Health Survey and compares those results with previous years. NSW Health has identified 25 indicators for inclusion in this summary report.

The report is also available by Area Health Service

Mental Health and Primary Care

The World Health Organisation has published a New joint WHO/Wonca report 'Integrating mental health into primary care - a global perspective'. When clearly conceptualized, a mental health policy can co-ordinate essential services and activities to ensure that treatment and care is delivered to those in need while at the same time preventing fragmentation and inefficiencies in the health system. There are also a number of fact sheets on the download page.

Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

Paediatric Pain Profile

The Paediatric Pain Profile (PPP) was developed by researchers at the Royal College of Nursing Institute, Oxford and the Institute of Child Health, London. It is a behaviour rating scale for assessing pain in children with severe physical and learning impairments. Children can experience difficulties in communicating their pain and it can go unrecognised and untreated. The pain assessment scale was developed specifically for children to help parents and health care professionals to distinguish which behaviours indicate pain and which pain relieving treatments to follow. The PPP tool is available for download as a PDF document

Reposted from : NCAHS Library Clippings

Federal budget health allocations

Australian Government 2009-10 Health and Ageing Portfolio Budget Statements

The 2009-10 Health and Ageing Portfolio Budget Statements informs Senators and Members of Parliament of the proposed allocation of resources to Government Outcomes and Programs by agencies within the Portfolio.

Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association summary of the health budget

State of the world's mothers report 2009 (Save the Children Fund)

Australia is the third best place in the world to be a mother, a new global report that rates the wellbeing of mothers and children has found. But the research from Save the Children reveals a less rosy picture for children, whose wellbeing was ranked 27th out of the 43 developed countries surveyed across the globe.

Supercourse : lectures on global health and prevention

Supercourse is a repository of lectures on global health and prevention designed to improve the teaching of prevention. Supercourse has a network of over 64000 scientists in 174 countries who are sharing for free a library of 3623 lectures in 30 languages. The Supercourse has been produced at the WHO Collaborating Center University of Pittsburgh.

Visitors can browse the lectures by author or keywords.Further down the homepage, visitors will find the "Special Lectures"area and information for potential authors who would like to become part of this initiative.

National Health Survey of 2007-08 (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The National Health Survey of 2007-08 examines the key health issues in Australia. Some of the key health risk factors highlighted in this report are obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking.

* More adult Australians were overweight or obese in 2007-08 compared with 1995.
* For children, there was a significant increase in the proportion who are obese from 5.2% in 1995 to 7.8% in 2007/8.
* Approximately 68% of men and 51% of women consumed alcohol in the week prior to the 2007-08 National Health Survey. Most of these adults (79%) consumed alcohol at a level that poses a low health risk.
* In children, the ABS found that 24% of 15-17 year old boys and 16% of girls had consumed alcohol in the week prior to the survey.
* This is the first time the National Health Survey has focussed on children's alcohol consumption. Of those children who drank in the week prior to the survey, 5.9% of boys and 6.6% of girls did so at a risky or high risk level.
* One in five adults (20%) were current smokers in 2007/8 which was down from 23% in 2004/5. More men than women were current smokers (22% and 18% respectively).

Results for states and ACT are available.

Working on links between climate change and health (Researchers from CRRMH)

Last year’s Garnaut review on climate change made two things clear – that Australia has both a high level of exposure and sensitivity to the impacts of global warming.

At the Cairns conference a group of researchers led by Brian Kelly, Helen Berry and Craig Hartwill describe some of the latest evidence on the impact of drought on mental health.

Warming - it's a health hazard

This article describes the links between climate change and drought and health effects, including mental health aspects.

Helen Berry from CRRMH describes the link between Global warming and mental health, within rural and remote areas. There is a presumption that farmers and those living in rural areas are more resilient. But drought has been linked to an increased risk of suicide. After 12 years of severe drought in some areas, and projections for further drought, underlying depression in these communities needs to be recognised and resilience strategies adopted.

The dark secrets of eating chocolate

On Mother's Day, it is perhaps difficult to resist this Harvard Medical School report on the health benefits of eating dark chocolate. Dark chocolate lowers the risk of blood clots, really does have antioxidants, and tastes yummy ...... what more could any mother want ?

Swine flu dashboard

CABI has developed a Swine flu 'dashboard' that brings together up-to-the-minute information on the virus.The 'dashboard' includes resources from CABI and critical advice from key health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Swine flu info links

Preparing for pandemic influenza http://www.health.gov.au/pandemic

Health emergency . Outbreaks information http://www.healthemergency.gov.au/internet/healthemergency/publishing.nsf/content/health-swine_influenza-index.htm


The DynaMed database of evidence to support clinical decision making on swine flu

Swine Influenza (Flu)

WHO is coordinating the global response to human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) and monitoring the corresponding threat of an influenza pandemic. Information on this page tracks the evolving situation and provides access to both technical guidelines and information useful for the general public.

Update will be posted on : http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html


NHS Evidence has been launched

The principle aim of the NHS Evidence service is to provide easy access to a comprehensive evidence base for everyone in health and social care who takes decisions about treatments or the use of resources - including clinicians, public health professionals, commissioners and service managers - thus improving health and patient care. It will build on NICE's significant international reputation for developing high quality evidence-based guidance. It provides access to a range of information types, including primary research literature, practical implementation tools, guidelines and policy documents.

To achieve the aim stated above, NHS Evidence will:

* Provide comprehensive access to information in health and social care via a web-based portal
* Commission the development of evidence-based information from external agencies, in line with user needs and priorities
* Provide a central purchasing function to enable health professionals in the NHS to access journals and other relevant resources
* Provide a formal accreditation scheme for defined categories of information such as clinical guidelines
* Identify evidence reflecting best practice in particular topic areas to inform a range of user groups
* Engage with users and stakeholders to support the use of evidence in decision-making, and to provide feedback to develop the service

ARROW Discovery Service (finding Australian research)

The ARROW Discovery Service provided by the National Library of Australia, allows you to search 278,412 Australian research outputs,including theses; preprints; postprints; journal articles; book chapters; music recordings and pictures, searching simultaneously across the contents of Australian university research repositories. The list of currently participating universities, and the number of outputs currently in each repository, is listed at the left of the home page. To view the most frequently accessed research items, and most popular creators, visit the Statistics page. Or to view the contents of an institution's repository listed as a tag cloud, visit the Tag cloud page.Currently, more than half of Australian universities have public research repositories, which can be simultaneously searched through this site. While the specific open access policies will vary between universities, these repositories offer a vehicle for researchers to make their work publicly available. Researchers deposit a digital copy of their work, along with some descriptive information, into the repository. Most of the items discoverable through the site will have a digital copy available, although some may not yet have a file attached, and others may have access restricted.

Aging in the Know: Your Gateway to Health and Aging Resources on the Web.

This site is created by the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA), Aging in the Know offers up-to-date information for consumers on health and aging.

Aging in the Know is your one-stop resource for:

* Information on common diseases and disorders that affect older adults.
* The What to Ask Series that will provide you with practical questions and tips that will help you to work with your healthcare provider on developing the best care plan for you or your loved one.
* Linkages to other organizations that have online resources in a particular area.

CABI Global Health : The Definitive Database For Public Health Information

CABI today has announced free access to its specialist Global Health database - the definitive database for public health information.

CABI Global health provides a comprehensive database for public health research and practice. Large archival files also give an in-depth historical perspective on public health problems.

Who cares ...? Better support for carers

Immediate financial relief for carers is a key outcome the House of Representatives Family Committee is seeking in its report "Who Cares...?" released today.With hundreds of carers speaking out about their desperate struggle to cope, the committee has responded with 50 recommendations to bring much needed help.
The committee has recommended an urgent increase in respite and in-home assistance for carers, with current demand far exceeding supply.Better coordination of support services is also needed, with the committee recommending a one-stop-shop for information on community care services, as well as support systems that are nationally consistent and more streamlined. The committee supports more options for carers who want to manage the purchase of services themselves, including self-managed individualised funding packages. It has also recommended:
*a national education campaign to increase community awareness of the needs of carers;
* national carer recognition legislation and a national carer action plan;
* a national strategy to address the skills and training needs of carers;
*increased access to case management services for carers;
*strengthening options for flexible working arrangements for carers;
*supporting carers to find suitable employment after a period of absence;
*extension of preventative health care initiatives to include carers;
*more counselling services for carers and their families.

Media release

Mental Health Council of Australia commentary


Carers Alliance response

Is 'Close the Gap' a useful approach?...

Kerryn Pholi, Dan Black and Craig Richards in the Australian Review of Public Affairs examine the realities of "Closing the Gap".

There is widespread enthusiasm for the Australian government's commitment to 'Close the Gap' in Indigenous disadvantage, health status and life expectancy. Yet despite the rhetoric, the pursuit of statistical equality for Indigenous Australians is not a novel or particularly promising approach. It is also an approach that reduces Indigenous Australians to a range of indicators of deficit, to be monitored and rectified towards government-set targets. This illustrates a substantial imbalance in power and control over the Indigenous affairs agenda in Australia, which is the 'gap' that must be addressed for the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians to improve.