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Friday, 30 January 2015

Australian Burden of Disease Study: Fatal burden of disease 2010 (AIHW)

Australian Burden of Disease Study: Fatal burden of disease 2010 is the first report in the Australian Burden of Disease Study series. It provides estimates of fatal burden for 2010 showing the contribution of each disease group by age and sex. The three leading disease groups were Cancer (35%), Cardiovascular diseases (23%) and Injuries (13%), and these contributed more than 70% of total fatal burden.

View the media release and download the full report and Infographic for free online.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

What are incident reports telling us? Australian study

This report published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care compared reported medical errors in two Australian hospitals. It revealed that only a small number of clinically important prescribing errors were captured in the incident systems, with some 78.1% going undetected.

The authors of the paper, What are incident reports telling us? A comparative study at two Australian hospitals of medication errors identified at audit, detected by staff and reported to an incident system conclude that there are inaccuracies inherent in the practice of using incident frequency to compare patient risk or quality performance within or across hospitals. They suggest that there are new approaches, such as data mining, which are needed to support better control of medication errors.

Westbrook JI, Li L, Lehnbom EC, Baysari MT, Braithwaite J, Burke R, International Journal for Quality in Health Care. First published online, January 2015. ttp://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzu098

NICE Guideline for safe staffing of Emergency Departments

Draft guidelines for safe staffing for nursing in A&E Departments have been released for consultation by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK. The aim is to ensure that A&E departments have the capacity to provide all necessary emergency care, including specialist input for children, older people or those with mental health needs.

The guidelines recommend minimum ratios based on the seriousness of a patient's condition and/or the level of care needed. For example, they recommend two registered nurses to one patient in cases of major trauma or cardiac arrest and one registered nurse to four cubicles in either 'majors' or 'minors'.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Mental Health in Rural and Remote Australia

The latest Fact Sheets from the Alliance are on Mental Health in Rural and Remote Australia and a Rural Mental Health Help Sheet. Together they present an overview of mental health in rural and remote Australia, and a guide to support services.

The Fact Sheet on mental health points out that, despite a similar prevalence of mental illness in urban and country areas, the lack of access to mental health services and a reluctance to seek help contribute to the fact that rates of self-harm and suicide increase with remoteness.

http://ruralhealth.org.au/news/mental-health-rural-and-remote-australia

Minister downplays idea of national royal commission into domestic violence

Abbott government minister Michaelia Cash has downplayed the idea of holding a national royal commission into domestic violence, arguing that the Coalition has already "accepted" that it was a problem and practical solutions were needed instead.

Senator Cash said that the federal and state governments and the community needed to concentrate instead on the "practical steps" that can address domestic violence. See more below:

http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2843434/minister-downplays-idea-of-national-royal-commission-into-domestic-violence/?cs=7

Consigning Fetal alcohol scourge to history

In childhood, Tristan McCarthy, 15 years, was diagnosed with Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). With brother Sebastian and sister Rani, he is among a generation whose physical and behavioural deficits - including abnormal facial features and intellectual disability - alerted their community to a sinister wave sweeping the Kimberley, Western Australia.

Ms Oscar and fellow community leaders have pioneered strategies to 'make FASD history'. They have created an early childhood centre around FASD children's needs as well as a therapeutic program, and a mobile Marulu Unit team delivers messages about preventive maternal and child care.

Please see more at the following link:

http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/about/news/2870

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Life story on an Ipad promotes wellbeing for people with dementia

A Perth-based occupational therapist has developed a new app for people with dementia that can record their life stories and be used as a tool to guide person-centred care.

The My Life Story app allows users to create a photo slideshow accompanied by music and voice recordings and loaded onto touchscreen devices like the iPad.

Creator Genevieve Major said it was not only aimed at promoting positive experiences and feelings of wellbeing for people with dementia, but also for carers and nurses as a reminiscing tool when the person enters residential aged care. Ms Major said the use of stories and reminiscing to improve mood was well researched and widely used by occupational and other therapists, but it was under-utilised in institutional care.

The My Life Story app is available on the iTunes store for $9.99. Ms Major is marketing it through word of mouth and her networks of dementia care service providers, memory clinics, community centres and nursing homes.

About the app.

Providing care after stillbirth

6 babies are stillborn in Australia every day. The Stillbirth Foundation Australia has funded a research project of the Joanna Briggs Institute. The objective of this review was to identify effective, meaningful and/or appropriate non- pharmacological, psychosocial supportive care interventions and strategies for families to improve their psychological well-being following stillbirth.

Associate Professor Edoardo Aromataris says that "the findings of the review showed that parents can be comforted by healthcare professionals who are prepared to involve them collaboratively in decision-making, and to provide empathetic, sensitive and respectful care at all times." As a result, 3 publications are now freely available on the Stillbirth Foundation website.

1. Evidence-based guidance for healthcare professionals providing care for parents from diagnosis to birth

2. Evidence-based guidance for healthcare professionals providing care for parents immediately after birth

3. Providing care for families who have experienced stillbirth: a comprehensive systematic review

Friday, 23 January 2015

Using the Juvenile Justice National Minimum Data Set to measure returns to sentenced youth justice supervision: stage 2

This is the second of 2 reports presenting measures of returns to sentenced youth justice supervision using data from the Juvenile Justice National Minimum Data Set (JJ NMDS).

This report further examines timeframes for measuring returns and explores the potential for using JJ NMDS data to measure the seriousness of reoffending.

Please see below for more details:

http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129550174&tab=2

Video-based therapy may help babies at risk of autism

Video-based therapy for families with babies at risk of autism improves infants' engagement, attention and social behaviour, and might reduce their risk chances of developing the condition, suggests a small study.

Researchers say their findings, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, show that using video feedback-based therapy to help parents understand and respond to their baby's early communication style might help modify emerging autism symptoms.

Please see more info at the link below:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/01/22/4166614.htm

Genetic therapy offers hope to people facing fatal diseases

Genetic therapy is being used by Australian doctors in the hope of offering a cure to patients facing rare and fatal diseases, such as the thalassaemia that means Stacey needs a blood transfusion every month.

Please see more details of this article below:

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4166968.htm?section=world

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Support for apprehended violence orders

APPREHENDED violence orders (AVOs) are effective says Central West Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service manager Penny Dordoy, despite strong criticism from the community after the death of a Sydney hairdresser.

Ms Dordoy argues AVOs are effective but they need to be used with other services, such as the advocacy service, to ensure the victim was protected, knew her rights and knew where to go for help if there was a problem.  Please see link below for more:

http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2831669/apprehended-violence-orders-do-work/?cs=103

Preventive action needed

The Hunter Institute of Mental Health will be shining a light on one of the issues that affects us all this week - suicide and the prevention of suicide. In many ways, 2014 brought a number of opportunities for us to do things differently and to do things better in suicide prevention. Please see link below for more info:

 http://newsstore.smh.com.au/apps/viewDocument.ac?page=1&sy=smh&kw=mental&pb=all_ffx&dt=selectRange&dr=week&so=relevance&sf=text&sf=headline&rc=10&rm=200&sp=nrm&clsPage=1&docID=NCH150121O73H65GKU5K

Australia leads on e-mental health but still vastly underused

Health specialists are raising questions about why Australia is a world leader in developing online mental health services but a laggard in using them.

They say e-mental health programs, which are delivered through phones and computers, are cheap and effective, but that very few Australians use them.

Please see link below for more details:

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2015/s4165715.htm

Smoking cessation and tobacco prevention in Indigenous populations

Smoking cessation and tobacco prevention in Indigenous populations systematically reviews 91 smoking cessation and tobacco prevention studies tailored for Indigenous populations around the world, with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in Australia. We identified several components of effective interventions, including the use of multifaceted programs that simultaneously address the behavioural, psychological and biochemical aspects of addiction, using resources culturally tailored for the needs of individual Indigenous populations. Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation was effective when combined with culturally tailored behavioural interventions and health professional support, though it is generally underused in clinical practice. From a policy perspective, interventions of greater intensity, with more components, were more likely to be effective than those of lower intensity and shorter duration.

For any new policy it is important to consider community capacity building, development of knowledge, and sustainability of the policy beyond guided implementation. Future research should address how the intervention can be supported into standard practice, policy, or translation into the front-line of clinical care. Investigations are also required to determine the efficacy of emerging therapies (such as e-cigarettes and the use of social media to tackle youth smoking), and under-researched interventions that hold promise based on non-Indigenous studies, such as the use of Champix. We conclude that more methodologically rigorous investigations are required to determine components of the less-successful interventions to aid future policy, practice and research initiatives.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just released its Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014 the second in a series tracking worldwide progress in the prevention and control of cancers, lung disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Non-communicable diseases, which are sometimes called "lifestyle" or "chronic diseases", are caused by common risk factors. The good news is that they can also be prevented by largely shared strategies. Tobacco control, for example, helps reduce cancers, heart disease, stroke and lung diseases – all of which are non-communicable diseases. Improving the diet of populations will help avoid obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart attacks – also all non-communicable disease.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Cancer Information website from Macquarie University

The Library at Macquarie University in Sydney has set up a very useful Cancer Information Website, supported by the Macquarie University Cancer Institute. Much of the material can be freely accessed online and it particularly relates to breast, brain, renal, lung, bowel, skin, head and neck and prostate cancer.

There are links to useful websites, programs and support groups and a list of practical tips. The site was set up in consultation with consumers and constantly responds to user suggestions so is very easy to use and packed with great information.

Review on antimicrobial resistance

The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance was commissioned in mid 2014 by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, who stated, "If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine". The aim of the review (chaired by Jim O'Neill) is to tackle the threat of drug-resistant infections on an international level and by consulting widely and globally, come up with a package of actions for recommendation by mid 2016.

The Review has now published its first paper, Antimicrobial resistance: tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations. The paper describes the problems of antimicrobial resistance and its primary and secondary health effects with details on current research. There is also a description of the economic cost to the world of this problem, and a call for an optimistic approach to the future.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Economics of Preventing Hospital Falls

A recent open access article in the January 2015 issue of the Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA), looked at a study which assessed the cost savings associated with implementing nursing approaches to prevent in-hospital falls.

Hospital rating programs often report fall rates, and performance-based payment systems force hospitals to bear the costs of treating patients after falls. Some interventions have been demonstrated as effective for falls prevention. Often net costs are calculated for implementing a falls-prevention program as compared with not making improvements in patient fall rates.

The results showed that falls-prevention programs can reduce the cost of treatment, but in many scenarios, the costs of falls-prevention programs were greater than potential cost savings.

Spetz, J., Brown, Diane S., Aydin, C. (2015).

Spetz, J., Brown, Diane S., Aydin, C. (2015).The Economics of Preventing Hospital Falls: Demonstrating ROI Through a Simple Model Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(1), 50-57.

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

Providing care after stillbirth

6 babies are stillborn in Australia every day. The Stillbirth Foundation Australia has funded a research project of the Joanna Briggs Institute. The objective of this review was to identify effective, meaningful and/or appropriate non- pharmacological, psychosocial supportive care interventions and strategies for families to improve their psychological well-being following stillbirth. Associate Professor Edoardo Aromataris says that "the findings of the review showed that parents can be comforted by healthcare professionals who are prepared to involve them collaboratively in decision-making, and to provide empathetic, sensitive and respectful care at all times."

As a result, 3 publications are now freely available on the Stillbirth Foundation website.

1. Evidence-based guidance for healthcare professionals providing care for parents from diagnosis to birth
2. Evidence-based guidance for healthcare professionals providing care for parents immediately after birth
3. Providing care for families who have experienced stillbirth: a comprehensive systematic review

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Healthy life expectancy in Australia: patterns and trends 1998 to 2012 (AIHW)

Healthy life expectancy in Australia: patterns and trends 1998 to 2012

Between 1998 and 2012, life expectancy at birth has risen by 4 years for boys and nearly 3 years for girls. And because disability prevalence rates have been falling over this period, the gain in disability-free life expectancy has been even greater for boys (4.4 years, compared with 2.4 years for girls). Older Australians have also seen increases in the expected number of healthy years, but this has been accompanied by more years needing assistance with everyday activities. Over this period, the gender gap in life expectancy narrowed across all ages, and the gap in the expected years living free of disability also reduced across most ages.

Media release

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in primary care settings



Cultural awareness and cultural safety training are vital for non-Indigenous health professionals to demonstrate cultural respect and effectively deliver services to Indigenous people, says A/Professor Mark Wenitong:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males may have reduced access to health services, and this and other related challenges can, and should be, addressed. Engaging men about personal and sensitive health issues offers the opportunity for better management of more life-threatening health conditions, but in the Indigenous setting this requires a focus on culturally appropriate services.

Andrology Australia's new Clinical Summary Guide  "Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in primary care settings" addressing this issue, is now available for download.
The guide is the 12th in Andrology Australia's "clinical summary guides" series.
Other topics include Male infertility, Klinefelter's syndrome, prostate disease and testicular cancer.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in Australian public hospitals 2013-14 (AIHW)

Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in Australian public hospitals 2013-14

In 2013-14, 1,621 cases of hospital-associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) were reported in Australian public hospitals. The national rate of SAB in public hospitals was 0.87 cases per 10,000 days of patient care, and all states and territories had rates below the national benchmark.

Between 2010-11 and 2013-14, rates of SAB decreased from 1.10 cases to 0.87 cases per 10,000 days of patient care.

Media release