Evidence & evaluation for health promotion and disease prevention

The Prevention and Population Health Branch, Department of Health Victoria have recently developed an evidence and evaluation website. The information provided on this site provides support to the health promotion and disease prevention workforce to make better use of research evidence and to improve how programs are evaluated. The website aims to do this by:

· Providing tools and guidelines;
· Acting as a repository or link for evidence syntheses and evaluations;
· Providing links to selected external sources of evidence;

Resources available on this site include the 'Evidence and evaluation tools' page that includes:

· How to use qualitative research evidence when making decisions about interventions;
· Understanding program logic;
· Guideline for evidence summaries for health promotion and disease prevention interventions; and
· Impact and outcome indicators for nutrition, physical activity and obesity programs.

New clinical guideline for osteoporosis (RACGP)

Clinical guideline for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and older men is the latest in the series of guidelines for musculoskeletal conditions released by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. An estimated 692,000 Australians have diagnosed osteoporosis and a new clinical guideline will assist with diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management of osteoporosis in older people.

Press release

Health and wellbeing of young Australians (AIHW)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a bulletin and a technical paper today :

Bulletin : Health and wellbeing of young Australians: indicator framework and key national indicators
This bulletin previews the reporting framework and key national indicators that will be the basis of the report Young Australians: their health and wellbeing 2011,scheduled for release in 2011. The bulletin presents 71 key national indicators, along with brief justifications explaining the relevance and importance of the indicators to young people's health and wellbeing. The indicators cover a broad range of areas of young people's health and wellbeing, including: morbidity, disability, mortality, health risk and protective factors, community, socioeconomic and environmental factors and measures of system performance.

Technical paper: Health and wellbeing of young Australians: technical paper on operational definitions and data issues for key national indicators
This technical paper specifies the operational definitions and primary data sources for the key national indicators of young people's health and wellbeing. It identifies the best currently available data sources for the key national indicators as identified by the AIHW, in conjunction with the National Youth Information Advisory Group. It comments on data gaps and limitations, particularly inconsistencies between indicator (ideal) definitions and existing data definitions.

Elder abuse - resource for community workers

Recognising, preventing and responding to abuse of older people living in the community: A resource for community care workers is a briefing been prepared by the Department of Social Work at The University of Melbourne in partnership with The Benevolent Society. Its aim is to distill evidence from research to guide care workers and managers in their day-to-day work with older people living in the community.

Abuse of an older person is defined by the World Health Organisation as any behaviour that causes physical, psychological, financial or social harm to an older person occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust between the older person and the abuser.International estimates of the prevalence of abuse vary between two and a half percent to six percent of older people over 65 living in the community.

Reposted from : NCAHS Library Clippings

Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence (3rd ed., 2010)

NHMRC has recently approved Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence Third Edition (2010), developed by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA). The aim of the document is, as with the first two editions, to combine a review of the best available evidence for acute pain management with current clinical and expert practice, rather than to formulate specific clinical practice recommendations.

Topic covered include the physiology & psychology of pain, pain assessment, drug & non-drug therapy and paediatric pain. This is one of several publications available on the ANZCA website.

The publication can be viewed on the ANZCA website at www.anzca.edu.au/resources/books-and-publications or on www.nhmrc.gov.au

New support for homeless young offenders (media release)

A new pilot program run by Juvenile Justice and Community Services, will link homeless young offenders to extra supports to keep them out of custody and help reduce their chance of reoffending.

Minister for Juvenile Justice, Graham West, Minister for Community Services, Linda Burney and Member for Parramatta, Tanya Gadiel, today visited the pilot which will run out of Parramatta Children’s Court and is supported by Ageing, Disability and Homecare, Justice Health, and the Departments of Health and Education. Mr West said young people who commit crimes often do so because of other issues in their life, such as homelessness, abuse and neglect in the home, or drug and alcohol misuse.

Depression: Finding answers for older people (Black Dog)

The older generation, their children and people who care for them tell their personal stories in an insightful look into how depression impacts the over 60s in the latest Black Dog Institute writing competition.

According to Professor Gordon Parker, Executive Director of the Black Dog Institute, the 76 entries in the Australia-wide writing competition have provided a "treasure trove" of advice and experiences. "I believe older people will find it useful to hear these stories from others, and what they found to be helpful in managing their depression," he said.

Key documents in Australia's health reform

This PHCRIS infoByte provides links to key government documents, information, articles and resources relevant to Australian health reform.

Questionnaires - how to increase response rate

The Cochrane Library has published a systematic review this month called Methods to increase response to postal and electronic questionnaires. The Cochrane group, led by Philip Edwards, found over 400 trials relevant to the topic, which included over 100 different suggestions for increasing the response rate.

"Postal and electronic questionnaires are a relatively inexpensive way to collect information from people for research purposes. If people do not reply (so called 'non-responders'), the research results will tend to be less accurate." Monetary incentive almost doubled the response on average, and other ways to increase response included contacting people before they are sent the questionnaire, providing a stamped-return envelope and follow-up reminders.

A Mentally Healthy Future for all Australians

The National Advisory Council on Mental Health has released a new discussion paper, A Mentally Healthy Future for all Australians. According to Nicola Roxon the discussion paper provides a vision and suggestions for a coordinated response to Australia's mental health needs.It will assist in the Australian Government's consideration of broader health system reform, including our response to the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission, the Preventative Health Strategy and the Primary Health Care Strategy. The National Advisory Council on Mental Health whch compiled the report was established in 2008 following an election commitment to provide independent, balanced and expert advice to government on a variety of mental health issues.

Child mortality target: analysis and recommendations [National Indigenous Health Equality Council]

Indigenous children aged 0-4 years die at 3 times the rate of non-Indigenous children. This analysis provides direction to achieve the Government's commitment to halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children by 2018.

The analysis includes statistics on key drivers; trends and projections; and NIHEC's policy recommendations to inform progress towards the target.

NIHEC notes the progress being made in Indigenous child mortality rates and is encouraged by positive trends in key areas, such as antenatal care. However, NIHEC is concerned about several key drivers where little or no improvement has been made, such as the increase in low birth weight babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers. NIHEC recommends policy attention and intervention to focus on the following key drivers to bridge the gap in Indigenous child health.

* Infant mortality
* Child mortality
* Low birth weight
* Socio-economic determinants

Australian Social Trends, Mar 2010 (ABS)

Australian Social Trends draws on a wide range of data, sourced both from ABS and other agencies, to present a picture of Australian society. It covers social issues of current and ongoing concern, population groups of interest, and changes in these over time.

Special articles in this issue include a review of "Health and socioeconomic disadvantage".

Full publication

Health and socioeconomic disadvantage

Cardiovascular medicines and primary health care a regional analysis (AIHW)

Cardiovascular medicines and primary health care: a regional analysis shows how the supply of cardiovascular medicines and primary health-care services differs across regions in Australia. This report examines the complex relationship between cardiovascular diseases, remoteness and the supply of cardiovascular medicines and primary health-care services. It will be of interest to policy makers, providers of health services, researchers in the field of cardiovascular disease, and members of the broader community.

Media release

New treatment guidelines for perinatal depression and depressed teenagers

Australia doctors and psychiatrists have been without guidelines for treating depressed teenagers and young people for six years. And there have never been guidelines for treating depression in pregnant women and new mothers. Now experts have drawn up some new guidelines with those two groups in mind. One of the most difficult questions they've had to answer is should pregnant women and children be using anti-depressants?

ABC report

Draft guidelines

Improving education for children entering care (media release)

Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth and Minister for Community Services Linda Burney today announced additional resources to support the education of children and young people coming into care.

Education initiatives include:

• the establishment of Child Wellbeing Units in the Education Department to support principals implement child protection measures,

• the recruitment of an out-of-home care coordinator for each of the 10 departmental regions to coordinate support for children entering care,

• the development of an education plan for each child and young person entering care that will be reviewed annually,

• the recruitment of an additional 25 home school liaison officers and 15 Aboriginal student liaison officers to reduce the number of children at risk of getting a poor education because of habitual non-attendance.

NSW Government seeks comment on Federal Government's proposed health reform agenda

The NSW Government's online consultation forum on the Federal Government's proposed Health Reforms is now open at :


All professionals working in the health system are invited to use this forum to discuss the proposed reforms. Feedback is to be incorporated into the NSW response to the reforms. There are 4 main discussion areas :
Who pays for what? ; How will our hospitals be managed? ; Standards and performance ; Rural and regional hospitals.

10.7 million to combat Indigenous smoking

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon announced last week that 14 sites across the country will benefit from a $10.7 million funding round to promote innovative anti-tobacco campaigns and prevention strategies. The Australian Government's Indigenous Tobacco Control Initiative aims to reduce smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in urban, regional and remote areas.

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation and Bila Muuji Regional Aboriginal Health Service, who between them service a large part of western N.S.W., are amongst the successful applicants.

Australian Medical Education Study

The Australian Medical Education Study has now been released. The synthesis report "What makes for success in medical education?" and associated documents are now available as internet only documents.

The Study undertook a systematic examination of critical education factors contributing to the outcomes of undergraduate medical education in Australia, in terms of how it prepares graduates for their work as interns and how it meets the requirements of postgraduate training for future medical careers. There was also consideration of how undergraduate clinical training contributes to these outcomes, in terms of the effectiveness of different models of clinical education. Associated documents are also available.

Fitness and Nutrition CD

Canowindra Allied Health Staff Sue Johnson (Physiotherapist) and Julie Middleton (Dietitian) have spent the last 4 years developing, implementing and refining community based fitness and nutrition programs. Their work has now been compiled on CD to help promote Fitness and Nutrition in your Community.

Information on the CD includes :
Program administration, Fitness testing, Circuits, Handouts and Evaluation.

The CD is free and is available from the Regional Health Program. To obtain a copy please contact Leanne Turner, Regional Health Services Officer; Primary & Community Health Division Greater Western Area Health Service
leanne.turner@gwahs.health.nsw.gov.au (02) 6841 2291.

Framework for Measuring Wellbeing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2010 - 4703.0

This publication describes a framework developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in conjunction with stakeholders, to measure the wellbeing of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The framework attempts to provide a holistic approach to the mapping of statistics about the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. It is presented as a broad level document, balanced across selected themes or 'domains'. It will be used to guide the development of ABS Indigenous statistics, by providing an organisational structure to aid the identification of data gaps and areas for statistical improvements. It will also provide a useful structure for ABS reporting and analysis of Indigenous wellbeing.


4703.0 - Framework for Measuring Wellbeing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2010

The problem of osteoporotic hip fracture in Australia (AIHW)

The problem of osteoporotic hip fracture in Australia

Hip fractures are serious and may lead to disability, reduced quality of life, loss of independence and even premature death. Every day in 2006-07, more than 40 Australians - most of them aged 65 or over - broke their hip. But the incidence rate is on the decline, having fallen by 14% in males and 20% in females since 1997-98.

Media release

Living on the edge: social and emotional wellbeing risk and protective factors for serious psychological distress among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

This paper has been prepared by the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) to generate discussion around the determinants of Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB), and to provide a range of recommendations for addressing the current gap in social and emotional wellbeing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

National Health and Hospitals Network

The Prime Minister today announced his plan for a new National Hospital and Health Services Network.
The National Health and Hospitals Network will deliver better hospitals by establishing a national hospital network, funded nationally and run locally. This is the most significant reform to our nation's health system since the introduction of Medicare.

The National Health and Hospitals Network will:
* Create a single national network of hospitals, instead of eight separate systems
* Be funded nationally, with the Australian Government shouldering the majority of the funding burden, which will mean more money is available to meet rising health costs
* Make sure local doctors and nurses with local expertise are making the important decisions for our local hospitals.

Full text of Kevin Rudd's speech

AMA response

National Rural Health Association response

Clinical Practice Guidelines Portal and Register (Australian best practice)

A new national Clinical Practice Guidelines Portal has been launched which will provide links to current Australian guidelines developed by governments, professional colleges, specialty societies and non-government agencies.

Clinical practice guidelines are critical tools used by health professionals and researchers to improve the health of Australians, yet in the past have often been hard to locate, difficult to access and sometimes out of date. Developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council's National Institute of Clinical Studies, the new national portal is a "one stop shop" for clinicians, researchers, policy makers and consumers to access guidelines developed during the preceding five years for use in the Australian health care system. In addition to the Portal, the NHMRC has developed a national clinical practice Guidelines in Development Register. This Register contains information about clinical practice guidelines that are planned or currently being developed in Australia.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler, who launched the Portal and Register on Friday in Melbourne, said there is strong support for these in the clinical community. "Australia is a world leader in guideline development and implementation and the new Portal will improve access to the latest, evidence-based resources," Mr Butler said. "The Register is about efficiency, collaboration and transparency. It will improve the co-ordination of guideline activities in Australia, avoid duplication and help prioritise needs.

A site of relevance to all clinicians.