Deakin’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Rural and Regional) Professor Sue Kilpatrick is the lead researcher in the project that covers fishing, mixed farming, cotton, grains and sugar and involves case studies from around Australia. Preliminary findings from her study, ‘I feel like I’m dancing on the Titanic’ – managing the stress of farming in difficult times, which takes its title from a quote from a farmer interviewed as part of the research, will be presented at the National Centre for Farmer Health’s conference in Hamilton on 12 October.
The federal Senate report into mental health last month, in its reference to rural and remote communities, says the related matters of stigma and lack of information about mental illness is one of two outstanding issues affecting rural areas (the other being poor access to GPs and carer and community support services).
The inquiry says while the closeness of rural communities and their support networks can help some who aren’t coping, stigma against mental illness, underpinned by strong cultural pressures to be independent and resilient in the face of adversity, still means many of those affected will continue to “suffer silently”.
For much of the past three decades, authorities have waged war against the importation and sale of illegal drugs. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on law enforcement and drug rehabilitation programs. Now, reporter Matthew Carney reveals that while illegal drugs remain a major problem, many experts believe the widespread use and abuse of legally prescribed opioid-based drugs could create a new and devastating drug epidemic across the suburbs of Australia.
But now there's another problem, with profound consequences for ordinary Australians. People who take these drugs for legitimate reasons are becoming addicted. Some have died, others have seen their lives destroyed.
An analysis commissioned by Catholic Health Australia has found that the 20 per cent of Australians on the lowest incomes died on average three years earlier than others because of illness caused by unhealthy lifestyles. The most disadvantaged people were in some cases four or five times more likely to suffer chronic illness than the comfortably-off, the report found.
Martin Laverty, the group's chief executive, called on the new Parliament to press for renewed focus on improved early childhood support, education and welfare for disadvantaged people.
''Health reform in the last term of government focused on hospitals, not the drivers that cause people to end up in hospitals,'' Mr Laverty said. ''The then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, missed a major opportunity and left many health professionals disappointed with the health reforms. 'If this Parliament does not act on preventive and social determinants of health, health reforms will not be achieved.''
The analysis by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at Canberra University found the health gaps between the poor and well-off were often very large. Up to 65 per cent of people in public housing had long-term health problems compared with only 15 per cent of home owners. More than 60 per cent of men in jobless households reported having a long-term health condition or disability, and more than 40 per cent of women.
Obesity rates were about three times higher among those in public housing than home owners. High-risk drinking among early school leavers was double the rate of those with a tertiary qualification. ''This is not about access to health services,'' Mr Laverty said. ''There is strong evidence that social determinants of health - such as income level, housing status and education level - are the factors more responsible for health inequities.'' The close links between low socio-economic status, illness and harmful lifestyles like smoking and unhealthy diet showed that more preventive health television campaigns would not solve the problem. ''This report shows that policies targeting behavioural change do not work,'' Mr Laverty said.
The health reforms now being implemented by the Gillard government needed to use the proposed new structures such as the local hospital networks and ''Medicare local'' organisations to assess health needs and advocate improvements in early childhood services, schooling and welfare support where necessary, he said. Any suggestion that the health reform was complete was wrong. ''It is far from it,'' Mr Laverty said.
The report, supported by the St Vincent de Paul Society and Catholic Social Services Australia, showed that thinking on health equity had to change, said Father Frank Brennan of the Australian Catholic University and Tony Wheeler, chairman of Catholic Health Australia's stewardship board.
The report may be downloaded from :
The SRS seeks to fill resource gaps identified across the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and children's services sector and provide a central information sharing clearinghouse. The site contains a large number of resources, both for order and, in many cases for free download.
An excellent site for resources in indigenous child development, family violence, and family issues.
Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings
Their occurrence together in the same person (comorbidity) complicates their treatment and management. When
musculoskeletal conditions and mental disorders occur together maps the extent of their relationship in the Australian population.
In 2007, over 1.5 million people (10% of Australians aged 16-85) had at least one musculoskeletal condition and one mental disorder in the preceding 12 months.The number of females experiencing this comorbidity (862,000) was greater than the number of males (671,000).The extent of comorbidity increased sharply in each successive age group until 45-54 years, after which it decreased sharply.
Overall, 25% of people with a musculoskeletal condition also had a mental disorder, the most common of which were anxiety disorders. The clear association between musculoskeletal conditions and mental disorders found in this study emphasises the need for health-care providers to be aware of and provide for a multidisciplinary approach to the management of this comorbidity.
The major findings of the report revealed 3 major areas of concern
1. The current system is not working well, with quality of care perceived as declining over the last five years. As demand is growing rapidly, tinkering with the system is not a long-term answer.
2. Significant investment in aged care is needed, particularly for new facilities and in developing a skilled workforce to deliver age care. The current system is not sustainable without higher tax.
3. We need to find new ways of financing aged care. A survey of more than 3,200 seniors found that many people would be prepared to pay for high quality aged care, while wanting a safety net for those who cannot afford to pay.
NICM commissioned Access Economics to undertake a series of cost effectiveness studies of selected CM interventions where a reasonable body of scientific evidence for efficacy and safety of the intervention was available. An expert Reference Group was convened and from a range of CM interventions that were considered for analyses, five were chosen. These included:
* Acupuncture for chronic non-specific low back pain;
* St John's wort for mild to moderate depression;
* A proprietary herbal medicine for pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis;
* Omega-3 fish oils for secondary prevention of heart disease;
* Omega-3 fish oils to reduce non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use in rheumatoid arthritis.
The study found that the first 4 of these were extremely cost-effective, with huge potential savings to the nation's medical costs.
Feature items include :
The Trachoma Resource Book which includes health promotion material and education material for use in clinics and schools. It is designed as a resource for regional leaders of health services dealing with trachoma and professional staff who want to know more about trachoma and how it spreads and is controlled.
The Trachoma Story kit comes in 3 versions for communities, schools & clinics. It includes flip charts, posters and other health promotion material.
There is also a substantial collection of full-text journal articles and research reports on Indigenous eye health topics.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services Report, 2008-09: OATSIH Services Reporting - Key Results (AIHW)
The final report provides a comprehensive overview of the findings of ACE Prevention. Many results can also be accessed in the form of Pamphlets, Briefing Papers and publications on a range of topics.
The report, Financial and externality impacts of high-speed broadband for telehealth prepared by Access Economics and commissioned by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, analyses the potential impacts of telehealth under a National Broadband Network. The report incorporates qualitative discussion of tele-medicine for remote consultations, remote home-based monitoring of chronic-disease patients and the aged, and remote training of medical professionals; together with high-level quantitative analysis of their associated costs and benefits.
Using a combination of a national level United States (US) study into one aspect of tele-health (tele-consulting) and a national level Australian study that was mostly based on electronic health records but had tele-health components, Access Economics estimates that steady state benefits to Australia from wide scale implementation of tele-health may be in the vicinity of $2 billion to $4 billion dollars per annum.
Improving responses to depression and related disorders: evaluation of a innovative, general, mental health care workers training program (Australian)
The Mental Health Aptitudes into Practice (MAP) training package is a broad, innovative,interdisciplinary, general mental health training aimed at improving responses to individuals with depression and related disorders. The modular structure of this training program meant that such training could be targeted at those with varied backgrounds.
271 days of free MAP training was delivered across Victoria in 2004/2005. The evaluation reported here assessed whether changes occurred in the trainees’ confidence, mental health literacy, attitudes towards effective treatments, mental health knowledge and skills and community mental health ideology following training.
There are huge benefits from investing in early intervention and evidence-based care: the Access Economics report also showed that the $10-$30 billion of costs a year associated with mental ill-health in young people could be reduced dramatically by the national implementation of cost-effective early intervention models that would very quickly pay for themselves.
The report also provides detail of the rural-city inequities in life expectancy, access to health professionals, health status and risk factors, the effectiveness of health promotion, cancer survival rates, education and educational outcomes, community infrastructure, communications and the cost of accessing essential services.
Safe Work Australia has published a report, Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Australia : Overcoming barriers to effective noise control and hearing loss prevention.
"Ultimately, solving the ONIHL problem requires behaviour change among managers and others who make decisions about the adoption of noise controls."
You can download the whole document, or just the recommendations. There is also a handy fact sheet which lists 10 things you should know about the guidelines.
Improving the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream general practice
The study reviewed the effectiveness of strategies that aim to improve the identification of Indigenous people. National data and research evidence indicate that less than one third of general practices routinely collect information on the Indigenous status of patients. Improved identification would support new "Closing the Gap" initiatives to extend the delivery of routine health checks and chronic disease management services. Extensive consultations and interviews with Indigenous people, general practice staff and other stakeholders were undertaken as part of the study, as well as case studies of 10 general practice networks.