Grey Matters: a practical search tool for evidence-based medicine

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) provides Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial health care decision makers with credible, impartial advice and evidence-based information about the effectiveness and efficiency of drugs and other health technologies. In order to search for and retrieve the evidence base required to produce CADTH reports, the Information Services team has developed a grey literature checklist, Grey Matters.

Grey literature includes reports and government information that are not published commercially and that are inaccessible via bibliographic databases. The checklist is used to:

  • ensure the retrieval of all relevant health technology assessment (HTA), government, and evidence-based agency reports that may not be indexed in bibliographic databases such as MEDLINE
  • help document the grey literature search process, thereby increasing transparency and the potential for reproducibility
  • ensure that grey literature searching is done in a standardized and comprehensive way.

This checklist includes national and international HTA web sites, drug and device regulatory agencies, clinical trial registries, health economics resources, Canadian health prevalence or incidence databases, and drug formulary web sites.

Well worth a look for anyone involved in health policy, or who is attempting a comprehensive search encompassing grey literature.

Crossroads: rethinking the Australian mental health system

Australia's mental health system will face an additional cost to the taxpayer of $9 billion if the structure and emphasis of the current system is maintained, argues  Crossroads: rethinking the Australian mental health system.

One in two Australians will experience a mental health disorder during their lifetime. Less than half of those who do will receive appropriate support and treatment. Left untreated, mental health problems often get worse, affecting every aspect of a person's life and creating a significant economic burden on the Australian community.  For this reason the National Mental Health Commission has called for a doubling in the proportion of the Australian population who receive "timely and appropriate mental health services and support." However, projections show that if we continue with business as usual, the current mental health system will require at least 8,800 additional mental health professionals, at a cumulative cost of $9 billion to Australia (in today's dollars) over the 15 years in order to be able to deliver on this objective. This presents a very significant cost-burden, which in the context of already fast-growing health costs is simply unsustainable.

Blueprint for mental health in the mining industry released

The NSW Minerals Council has released   a Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellbeing, providing a high level guide to addressing the mental health and wellbeing of employees in the state's mining sector.

The Blueprint was produced by a team of experts at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, in conjunction with the University of Newcastle and supported by leading resources research institute NIER (Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources).

Director of the Hunter Institute Jaelea Skehan says this document will provide mining companies with guidance on how to promote mental health and wellbeing and respond early and effectively to reduce the impact of mental ill-health.

"People are the most important resource that any workplace has and so investing in their health, mental health and wellbeing makes sense.

"We know that workplaces have an important role to play in prevention and implementing pro-active measures at industry level can make a real impact," she said.

This Blueprint follows the 2012 Mental Health and the NSW Minerals Industry Report and a workshop for senior mine safety representatives, health professionals and researchers hosted by the NSW Minerals Council, the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, NIER and the University of Newcastle to develop a mental health strategic action plan for the mining sector.

Press release


Workshop Report

State of the climate report 2014 (CSIRO)

The rise in the number of extremely hot days is underlined in a new report that finds there were more in 2013 than in the entire 1910-40 period combined.

The State of the Climate report by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO finds Australia is being hit by more extreme heat and high-fire danger, and southern regions are drying out - trends that may accelerate as the planet heats up. The biennial survey found mean temperatures nationwide had risen 0.9 degrees since 1910 and will be another 0.6-1.5 degrees warmer by 2030, compared with the 1980-99 average.

By 2050, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow at the pace of the past decade, temperatures will rise between 2.2 and 5 degrees above the 1980-99 average, the agencies said.


Australian climate report reveals more hot days (Central Western Daily)