Relative Needs index study, South Australia and New South Wales(AIHW)

The demand for public dental services exceeds the capacity of available resources. Services are therefore rationed by categorising them into those seeking emergency or general dental care and then, most commonly, by chronological queuing. No evidence-based criteria or protocols exist in Australia to assess whether it's reasonable for patients to present for emergency dental care, or to prioritise those seeking general dental care who are placed on waiting lists. This publication investigates rationing dental care on the basis of patients' overall experience including reported symptoms and psychosocial impact of the oral problems. Such approaches help ration both emergency and general dental care as one step in reforming public dental care.

Authored by AIHW Dental Statistics and Research Unit. Dental statistics and research series no. 49

Virtual Clinic

Virtual Clinic is a not-for-profit initiative of the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD) at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney and the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales.

VirtualClinic is an Internet-based clinic that aims to develop and provide free education and treatment programs for people with anxiety, social phobia, agoraphobia and depressive disorders who cannot readily access face to face treatment.

Reposted from Health Blog@CSU

Sexually Transmitted Infections Campaign

The Australian Government has launched a national campaign that aims to
reduce the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among Australians, especially young people and Indigenous people. The campaign theme is "STIs are spreading fast - always use a condom". The Government has committed $9.8 million to the National STI Prevention Program to address a worrying rise in chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, and syphilis infections. There were around 70,000 reported cases of STIs in Australia in 2008 - 13 per cent more than in 2007, and it's young people who are most at risk. Three quarters of known cases occur among people aged between 15 and 29 years. The website for the campaign has some statistical information about STIs.

HealthInsite also has topic pages on Sexual Health, including pages on Safe Sex and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

Key indicators of progress for chronic disease and associated determinants: technical report (AIHW)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new report today:

Key indicators of progress for chronic disease and associated determinants: technical report
The reporting of statistics about chronic diseases and their associated determinants enables the monitoring of outcomes of interventions and health programs, and helps to assess the needs for health services in the future. This report describes forty-two indicators developed to measure the progress in prevention of chronic disease in Australia. For each indicator, operational definitions are provided in terms of recommended data sources, availability of data, and the presentation of the indicators.

Australian Social Trends June 2009

The June 2009 issue of Australian Social Trends features the latest key statistics on the Australian population, plus a feature article on health literacy. An archive of the many and varied feature articles in former issues may also be searched.

Bridges and Barriers : addressing Indigenous incarceration and health

Indigenous Australians make up almost one-quarter of Australia's prison population. In the past 20 years, Indigenous Australians have continued to fill our country's prisons at alarmingly disproportionate rates. The issues experienced by Indigenous offenders are significant and complex. The strong links between substance misuse and Indigenous incarceration highlight an urgent need for government to address this disturbing problem.

The discussion paper "Bridges and Barriers : addressing Indigenous incarceration and health" highlights urgent areas for action in the treatment of the health needs of Indigenous prisoners.

Press release

Murray-Darling Basin Plan

The Commonwealth Water Act 20072 requires the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to prepare and oversee a Basin Plan. The main functions of the Basin Plan as outlined in the recent Concept Statementwill be to:

* set and enforce environmentally sustainable limits on the quantities of surface water and groundwater that may be taken from Basin water resources
* set Basin-wide environmental objectives, and water quality and salinity objectives
* develop efficient water trading regimes across the Basin
* set requirements that must be met by state water resource plans
* improve water security for all uses of Basin water resources.

The Basin Plan will provide the foundation for managing the Basin's water resources in a way that can be sustained through time and in the national interest.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority website contains management plans, discussion documents, and a comprehensive image library of the MDB catchment, including a large number of GWAHS localities stretching from Oberon to Silverton.

Info Long-term Care

Aged care workers seeking uo-to-date information could benefit from "Info Long-Term Care" , a Current Awareness Service for health care practitioners in long-term and geriatric care. This is Canadian in origin, but has a good deal of Australian material as well as recent full-text journal articles and current news items.

Improving rural health services

An online article ;
'Ten ideas for building a strong Australian rural health system'

by Jennene Greenhill and David Rosenthal ;

'Health of the People of New South Wales' 2008 Chief Health Officer's Report

The report , in three sections ;
1. an electronic interactive version,
2 . the data books,
3. the summary,
is accessible at

Assessing the health service use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (NHHRC)

Assessing the health service use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is the title of the latest discussion paper from the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.

The paper examines the current use of primary health services by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly the use of medical services which are supported by Medicare and the ACCHOs; and assesses the implications for the types of service for which a National Aboriginal Health Authority might contract. This paper and other NHHRC discussion papers are available from the website.

Primary Health Care Roundtable (16 June 2009)

The Primary Health Care Roundtable was held at Parliament House in Canberra. The purpose was to give a nursing perspective on primary health care policy. This paper is a summary of presentations.

Innovations in autism /e-journal of applied psychology : clinical & social issues

Innovations in autism is the title of a special issue of the E-Journal of Applied Psychology. There has been a dramatic increase in the rate of autism in children in recent years. This a broad minded approach to the topic and the issue addresses autism in unusual and innovative ways.

The e-journal of applied psychology : clinical & social issues is an open access journal edited by David Austin, and Britt Klein from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. It publishes research on clinical and social psychology issues. Archives can be searched online or readers may register to receive updates.

Holistic healing touch works best (mental health focus)

This article describes how Aboriginal communities are shaping their own path to mental health, building on traditional cultural values. Once ominously referred to as the suicide capital of Australia, the tiny Indigenous community of Yarrabah in far north Queensland had hit crisis mode when residents decided to take matters into their own hands.

A community meeting resulted in a number of initiatives to curb suicide and improve the general wellbeing of residents. Every Wednesday for a little more than a decade, men from the community have been meeting up. Sometimes they organise speakers to talk about issues that confront them: things such as domestic violence, employment, drugs. They plan activities that allow them to socialise without alcohol.

Men urged to consider their mental health (media release)

The NSW Farmers’ Association is encouraging rural men to take a greater interest in their mental health during Men’s Health Week. NSW Farmers’ Association Rural Affairs Committee Chair Sarah Thompson says that rural men are becoming more aware of mental health issues. "We are beginning to see that men in rural communities are increasing their awareness and understanding of mental health issues, which is a very welcome step forward," Ms Thompson said.

"Men in rural areas are most at risk of mental health issues, with ongoing and prolonged drought causing a spike in depression, anxiety and stress. "Studies have shown that the rate of suicide among male farmers is almost 50 per cent higher than the average in rural communities, primarily due to drought and social isolation.

Commonwealth Indigenous Budget Bulletin - June 2009

The twice-yearly Indigenous Budget Bulletin is prepared by the Macroeconomics health team, headed by Dr Lesley Russell, to help engender public debate and scrutiny of indigenous budget policy. The bulletin covers all portfolios, with a special emphasis on indigenous health.

Residential aged care in Australia 2007-08 a statistical overview (AIHW)

Residential aged care in Australia 2007-08: a statistical overview provides comprehensive statistical information on the 2,080 residential aged care homes and their 160,250 residents at 30 June 2008. The report contains information on the capacity of residential aged care homes, their residents and resident characteristics, levels of dependency among residents, and admissions and separations. The year is particularly significant with the change over from the Resident Classification Scale to the Aged Care Funding Instrument for the appraisal and funding of residents.

Media release

The Mental Health of Australians 2: Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing

This report presents a comprehensive summary of the results of the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. It provides information on the prevalence of mental disorders, their severity, associated suicidality, and comorbidity with other mental disorders and physical conditions, as well as what services people use for their mental health problems.

The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing is the second major epidemiological survey of its kind undertaken in Australia, with the first conducted in 1997. The survey is a general household survey of the adult population aged 16-85 years and focuses on the more common or high prevalence mental disorders, namely affective disorders (including depression), anxiety disorders and substance use disorders.

Initial results of the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing were released on 23 October 2008 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The report is available via the ABS website:
National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007

Hard copies of The Mental Health of Australians 2 can be ordered from National Mailing and Marketing by calling (02) 6260 2770 or sending an email to

Guide for women with early breast cancer

The revised version of the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre Guide for Women with Early Breast Cancer is now available and it incorporates the latest evidence in a new user-friendly format. The resource provides information to support women with early breast cancer in making decisions about their treatment and care, as well as advice for family and friends. The Guide walks women through every step of their breast cancer journey and is broken down into five key areas: Breast cancer: the facts, Making sense of test results,Treatment, When treatment is over, and Finding support.

The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre(NBOCC) is Australia*s national authority and information source on breast and ovarian cancer. Funded by the Australian Government, NBOCC works in partnership with health professionals, cancer organisations, researchers, governments and those diagnosed to improve outcomes in breast and ovarian cancer. There are a number of other free publications on their Resources page.

Kidney disease online resource

A new online resource for health professionals and their patients with kidney disease, offering information about the condition and its treatment, funded by Baxter Pharmaceuticals .

A picture of Australia's children (AIHW)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released today: A picture of Australia's children 2009

This report delivers the latest information on how, as a nation, we are faring according to key indicators of child health, development and wellbeing. Death rates among children have fallen dramatically, and most children are physically active and meet minimum standards for reading and numeracy. But it is not all good news. Rates of severe disability and diabetes are on the rise. Too many children are overweight or obese, or are at risk of homelessness, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children fare worse on most key indicators.
Media release

Its All

SANE Australia has launched a new website to support the half a million Australian teenagers affected by mental illness in their family. aims to break this cycle by giving control back to teenagers through information and reassurance. The website centres on the stories of four teenagers, told through online diary entries, who have a family member with a mental illness. The website also provides factsheets and podcasts about mental illness and treatment, as well as an online helpline for teenagers to ask their own questions or seek support.

Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care

Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care provides practical guidance for undertaking evidence synthesis based on a thorough understanding of systematic review methodology. It presents the core principles of systematic reviewing, and in complementary chapters, highlights issues that are specific to reviews of clinical tests, public health interventions, adverse effects, and economic evaluations. The final chapter discusses the incorporation of qualitative research in or alongside effectiveness reviews.
Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

Australian hospital statistics 2007-08 (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2007-08 presents a broad range of information on Australian public and private hospitals. In 2007-08 there were: 7.9 million hospitalisations , 60% of these were in public acute hospitals; 566,000 admissions from public hospital elective surgery waiting lists with a median waiting time of 34 days; 7.1 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments, with 69% of patients seen within recommended times for their triage categories; and 1,314 public and private hospitals. Public hospital expenditure was $29 billion.
Media release

The Australian Health Care System: The Potential for Efficiency Gains (NHHRC)

The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) today released a background paper "The Australian Health Care System: The Potential for Efficiency Gains (A Review of the Literature)".The paper reviews the available literature on the efficiency of the Australian health care system and the potential areas where efficiency gains might be made.

The paper identifies a number of areas for possible efficiency improvements, including :

* Ensuring patient care is being driven by clinical best practice through the alignment of funding and remuneration arrangements;
* Improving hospital efficiency
* Reducing preventable adverse events could potentially free up an estimated $1 billion per year (in 2003-04 dollars) in hospitals for other services;
* Making primary health care the health system hub for patients
* Almost 10 per cent of hospital stays (separations) are potentially preventable if timely and adequate non-hospital health care was provided;
* Improving the allocation of resources across sectors by getting the balance right between prevention, primary health, sub-acute, hospital and aged care services.
* Only funding interventions that prove to be cost-effective.

Press release

Caresearch Research Studies Register

CareSearch has developed this database as a register of Australian research projects and studies in palliative care. The register provides a means of sharing information, developing linkages, preventing duplication and promoting awareness of current research activities. You can filter the research projects by investigator, by study methodology or by topic.

Social Justice Report 2008

In this year's Social Justice Report, Tom Calma looks at what is needed to improve Indigenous human rights protection, remote Indigenous education, healing and health equality. He sets out some of the key steps that governments can take over the next 18 months to progress a new agenda for Indigenous affairs, including:

* Establishing a credible national Indigenous representative body
* Reinstating the protection of the Racial Discrimination Act in the Northern Territory
* Making human rights a central part of the new relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, by amending the Constitution, establishing a national Human Rights Act and formally supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
* Developing a remote Indigenous education strategy and accountability framework
* Establishing an independent national Indigenous healing body, and putting in place a properly-funded, long-term plan of action to achieve Indigenous health equality and objectively monitoring its progress.

Also available Native Title Report 2008

Alcohol and smoking are key causes for bowel cancer

A new global study has found that lifestyle risk factors such as alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are important risk factors for bowel cancer. Researchers have shown that people who consume the largest quantities of alcohol (equivalent to > 7 drinks per week) have 60% greater risk of developing the cancer, compared with non-drinkers.
Read more

Weighing it up : obesity in Australia

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing has tabled its report of the Inquiry into Obesity in Australia, Weighing it up. On 19 March 2008, the Committee adopted terms of reference to examine the increasing prevalence of obesity in the Australian population, focusing on future implications for Australia's health system, and what governments; industry; individuals; and the broader community can do to prevent and manage the obesity epidemic in children, youth and adults. The Committee has made 20 recommendations.

Acute postoperative pain drug use evaluation toolkit (DUE)

Health professionals caring for patients with acute post-operative pain can improve pain management with a new drug use evaluation toolkit developed by the National Prescribing Service Ltd (NPS). The Acute postoperative pain drug use evaluation (DUE) toolkit can be used by hospitals to assess practices and ensure interventions lead to improvements in a patient's experience of pain. It is designed to support surgical, anaesthetic, pharmacy and nursing staff in public and private hospitals to manage acute pain after surgery and assist hospitals to review practice when new drugs become available. The DUE toolkit was developed following a national quality improvement project on management of acute postoperative pain in 62 Australian public and private hospitals in 2006 and 2007 and includes an electronic data collection tool (e-DUE) and educational resources.