Understanding research: A guide for primary health care nurses

Primary health care (phc) nurses see hundreds of patients every year : some frequently, some rarely. In every consultation, phc nurses will be aiming to provide the best possible care, and patients will be expecting it. But how do we determine what is the best possible care? The best possible care must be determined by evidence that has arisen as the result of research, preferably conducted in the primary care setting.

The 10 learning modules in Understanding research: A guide for primary health care nurses are for primary health care nurses who wish to provide the best possible care but who would like to understand more about research. They have also been written for GPNs who want to know how to get involved in research.

This resource is listed on the AML Alliance webpage under 'Orientation and Training'.

This resource is the latest in a series of free training courses for phc nurses which include Nurse Practitioners in Primary Care, Leadership in Action, Teaching & Learning in the Workplace, and the Nursing in General Practice Recruitment and Orientation Resource.

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2011-12 (AIHW)

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2011-12

Almost 700 agencies provided over 150,000 treatment episodes for alcohol and other drug issues in Australia in 2011-12. Most of the closed episodes provided in 2011-12 were for clients receiving treatment for their own drug use, and these clients tended to be male and in their 20s and 30s. Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern, accounting for almost half of these closed episodes, and counselling was the most common type of treatment.

Media release

Expenditure on health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2010-11: an analysis by remoteness and disease (AIHW)

Expenditure on health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2010-11: an analysis by remoteness and disease provides a detailed analysis of health expenditure for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in 2010-11. Estimates are disaggregated at the regional level, as well as for specific disease and injury groups. For selected services, expenditure increased with remoteness for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The disease groups that accounted for the highest proportion of admitted patient expenditure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were genitourinary diseases ($195 million or 11% of Indigenous admitted patient expenditure), which includes the cost of dialysis treatment.

Media release

Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia: 1999-00 to 2010-11 (AIHW)

Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia: 1999-00 to 2010-11 focuses on trends in hospitalisations due to injury and poisoning that occurred over the period 1999-00 to 2010-11. Information is also presented on the incidence of hospitalised injury in the financial year 2010-11. Age-standardised rates of injury cases increased from 1999-00 to 2010-11 by an average of 1% per year. Increases per year across the period were found for injuries due to: falls (2%), intentional self-harm (1), assaults (0.5%) and other unintentional injuries (1.4%). Significant decreases occurred in the rate of hospitalisations due to poisoning by pharmaceuticals (5%) and by other substances (4%), and drowning and near drowning (1%, and 3% for children 0-4).

Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people rates of injury increased from 3,268 cases per 100,000 population in 2007-08 to 3,708 per 100,000 in 2010-11. Analysis of different injury types revealed increases in rates of poisoning by pharmaceuticals, falls, intentional self-harm and other unintentional injuries during this time.

Media release

AusDiab Study paints a disturbing picture of the nation's battle with diabetes and obesity.

One of the most comprehensive studies tracking the health of Australians has released findings that paint a disturbing picture of the nation's battle with diabetes and obesity. The AusDiab study was funded through a National Health and Medical Research Council grant and followed 11,000 Australians for 12 years.

Researchers found the incidence of diabetes remained very high, with almost 270 adult Australians diagnosed each day, and people aged 25-34 were gaining more weight than other age groups. Patients with diabetes were also found more likely to suffer other conditions as well. Prevalence of depression in patients with diabetes was 65%, which was much higher than those without diabetes.

Study leader Professor Jonathan Shaw says the link between diabetes and depression is complex. "It appears there's a bit of a two-way street here. People with depression are more likely to develop conditions like diabetes, partly because they feel less able to pursue healthy lifestyles."

Professor Shaw says people with diabetes also had twice the rate of cognitive impairment compared to those without diabetes. "One of the biggest contradictions is that we are seeing people living longer but with higher rates of chronic diseases. So their quality of life is compromised by disease," he said.

Aus Diab 2012 report

List of available reports from the study

Long-term study finds Australian adults increasingly at risk of diabetes and obesity (ABC)

"Getting Started" in primary health care

PHC RIS Getting Started Guides (formerly infoBytes) are designed to introduce the fundamentals of primary health care and expand on key primary health care topics.

The Getting Started Guides are suitable for anyone looking for a basic introduction to key primary health care topics or to expand their knowledge of a familiar topic. Main areas covered include primary health care, writing, presenting, engaging, research methods and data & information collection.

The latest guides in the series are :

* Using social media in primary health care

* Accessing the Grey literature

* Understanding the social determinants of health

Australia's welfare 2013 (AIHW)

Australia's welfare 2013 is the 11th biennial welfare report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This comprehensive and authoritative report provides an overview of the wellbeing of Australians across domains of healthy living, autonomy and participation, and social cohesion. It includes information on:

- population factors underpinning the demand for welfare services
- particular needs and assistance provided to key groups
- the resourcing of welfare services in Australia.

Areas where there were signs of improvement included rises in Indigenous home ownership, falls in overcrowding among Indigenous households, and improving education and labour force participation rates.

The report shows that people outside major cities experience several areas of disadvantage, including higher death rates, higher disability rates, lower educational attainment, and higher unemployment rates.

Other Australia's welfare 2013 fast facts:

*Australians are better educated than a decade ago: 67% of people aged 25 to 64 held a non-school qualification in 2012 compared with 54% in 2002.
*Adoptions have fallen to their lowest level ever-at just 333 in 2011--12 compared with around 9,800 in 1972.
*The number of children in substantiated (confirmed) abuse and neglect cases rose by 18% between 2007-08 and 2011-12. The number of children living in out-of-home care increased by 27% between 2008 and 2011.
*Just over half (52%) of children aged 0 to 12 usually attended child care in 2011.
*House prices were more than 7 times the average household income in 2011 compared with 4 times at the start of 2002, and houses are increasing in size.

The report is accompanied by a companion mini publication, Australia's welfare 2013-in brief.

Media release

Cases Database (Biomed Central)

Documenting a patient's case history to inform physicians how the patient has been evaluated and the subsequent progression of his or her disease is arguably the oldest method of communicating medical evidence. In the 21st century case reports play an equally important role.

BioMed Central has developed a new resource Cases Database, a continuously-updated, freely-accessible database of thousands of medical case reports from multiple publishers, including Springer, BMJ and PubMed Central. By aggregating case reports and facilitating comparison, Cases Database provides clinicians, researchers, regulators and patients a simple resource to explore content, and identify emerging trend.

Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement: first annual report on health performance indicators (AIHW)

Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement: first annual report on health performance indicators provides the latest available information, as well as trends on the 6 health-related indicators in the NPA. Key findings include that Indigenous mothers had higher rates of low birthweight babies than non-Indigenous mothers and more than half of Indigenous mothers reported smoking during pregnancy. There was a 46% decline in the infant mortality rate for Indigenous infants between 2001 and 2010.

The health of Australia's males (AIHW)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released two reports on male health :

The health of Australia's males: from birth to young adulthood (0-24 years)
This report is the 3rd in a series on the health of Australia's males, and focuses on health conditions and risk factors that are age-specific (such as congenital anomalies) and those where large sex differences are observed (such as injury). Findings include: - Male babies born in 2009-2011 can expect to live to the age of 79.7, nearly 5 years less than female babies born the same year (84.2). - While males aged 0-24 are more likely to be hospitalised or die from injury than females of the same age, they are similarly likely to be overweight or obese and less likely to smoke tobacco daily.

The health of Australia's males: 25 years and over
This report is the 4th in a series on the health of Australia's males. It continues and completes the life course by focusing on males aged 25 and over. Findings include: -Males aged 25 and over in 2011 can expect, on average, to live to 80 or over. -One in 10 males aged 50-59 (11%) and 60-69 (10%) are, on a daily basis, at risk of injury resulting from excessive alcohol Employed -males are less likely to rate their health as fair or poor (11%) compared with unemployed males (37%) and males not in the labour force (41%).

Media release.