Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Mental Health in rural Australia

This fact sheet by the National Rural Health Alliance reveals that the reported prevalence of mental illness in rural and remote Australia appears similar to that of major cities. Access to mental health services is substantially more limited than in major cities, and country people are less likely to seek help. Tragically, rates of self-harm and suicide increase with remoteness.

http://ruralhealth.org.au/sites/default/files/publications/fact-sheet-mental-health-2016.pdf

Insights in Recovery: A consumer-informed guide for health practitioners working with people with eating disorders

Insights in Recovery: A consumer-informed guide for health practitioners working with people with eating disorders was developed by the Butterfly Foundation with funding from the Mental Health Commission of NSW. The resource provides guidance for health professionals of all kinds on how to adopt a person-centred, recovery-orientated approach to working with people with anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. It was developed by researchers based on feedback they gathered from people with lived experience of eating disorders on what helped and hindered their recovery.

The recommendations in the Guide include:

* Establish a shared understanding of recovery
* Help individuals talk about their eating disorder
* Help individuals feel safe
* Use mindful language
* Help individuals find their identity beyond the eating disorder
* Integrate choice into treatment decisions
* Encourage the use of healthy supports in everyday life
* Listen and incorporate the perspectives of those with lived experience

About the guide.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Spatial distribution of the supply of the clinical health workforce 2014: relationship to the distribution of the Indigenous population (AIHW)

Spatial distribution of the supply of the clinical health workforce 2014: relationship to the distribution of the Indigenous population uses a new measure developed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - the Geographically-adjusted Index of Relative Supply (GIRS) - to examine the geographic supply of the clinical health workforce in seven key professions with particular relevance to Indigenous Australians. These professions were general practitioners, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, dentists, psychologists and optometrists. Areas with lower GIRS scores are more likely to face workforce supply challenges than those with higher GIRS scores. The GIRS scores were compared with the distribution of the Indigenous population to assess the extent to which Indigenous people live in areas with lower relative levels of workforce supply.

Download report: Spatial distribution of the supply of the clinical health workforce 2014: relationship to the distribution of the Indigenous population

Eye Health web resource

The Australian Indigenouse HealthInfo Net has set up an Eye Health Web Resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The tools and information on this page are set up to support health professionals and students of eye health in this group. They include links to programs and projects, reviews of the literature, relevant policies, health promotion resources and information about the workforce in this field - training, conferences and job opportunities.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Research reveals Flying Doctor role in Indigenous child health

Most people associate the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) with outback farmers, but new research released today reveals 1 in 3 RFDS aeromedical retrievals are for Indigenous Australians, 14% of these children under the age of five.

The research reveals the key reasons for RFDS aeromedical retrievals from remote Indigenous communities as being for:
> 17.9% for injury or poisoning;
> 14.4% suffering a stroke, heart attack or disease of the circulatory system;
> 12.8% having pneumonia, asthma or other disease of the respiratory system.

1 in every 5 aeromedical retrievals of Indigenous people suffering respiratory illness were under one year of age. 40% were below school age.

"This research is a first for the RFDS. It warns Indigenous children are over-represented in aeromedical retrieval data. Preventable or manageable illnesses such as pneumonia, asthma and croup are leaving kids so ill the only option is to fly them to hospital," said Martin Laverty, CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

The research outlines illness and injury rates requiring a sample of 17,606 to be flown from remote communities to hospitals over a three year period. It points to how illness and injury can be prevented and how health services can improve Indigenous health care.

Providing aeromedical retrieval care to remote Indigenous communities: Lara Bishop, Martin Laverty and Lauren Gale

Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: second national report 2016 (AIHW)

Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: second national report 2016 reports on the 21 Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with updated data available to report on 11 measures. For some of the measures, a better or similar rate for Indigenous Australians compared with non-Indigenous Australians was apparent, while on other measures, higher rates of ill health and death from cardiac conditions and lower rates of in-hospital treatment services among Indigenous Australians were evident. A number of measures suggested improvements for Indigenous Australians over time; examples include a decline in the death rate due to cardiac conditions and an increase in the proportion who received an MBS health assessment.

Download report: Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: second national report 2016

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Emergency department care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics (AIHW)

In 2015-16:

* There were about 7.5 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments;
* 74% of patients received treatment within an appropriate time for their urgency (triage) category;
* 73% of patients spent 4 hours or less in the emergency department;
* 2.2 million patients were admitted to hospital from the emergency department, and 49% of these were admitted within 4 hours.

Media release: Despite continued increases in activity, emergency department waiting times are relatively stable

Download report: Emergency department care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics

Monday, 21 November 2016

Gut bacteria increases type 2 diabetes risk

The major contributors to insulin resistance (a forerunner to type 2 diabetes) are recognised as excess weight and lack of physical activity. But publication of ground-breaking research by an international team in the journal Nature suggests that there is much more to the story and it could change the way we view treatment and prevention.

Beginning with 277 people without diabetes and 75 with type 2 diabetes (but still able to produce insulin), the team led by Helle Krogh Pedersen monitored the blood concentrations of over 1200 metabolites and combined this with a detailed analysis of the gut bacteria for each participant.

They discovered that people who were insulin resistant had elevated blood levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs originate from ingested food or gut microbial synthesis, and have been previously associated with incident type 2 diabetes, and normalisation of BCAA levels has been observed after bariatric surgery.

They also found that the main drivers of elevated BCAA in those people were two bacteria; Provotella copri and Bacteroides vulgatus. Lesser roles in insulin resistance were also played by E.coli, Suterella wadsorthensis and unclassified Sutterella and Prevotella species.

More information and links

Diabetes : State of the Nation

To mark World Diabetes Day (14 November) Diabetes Australia released a new State of the Nation report documenting policy and funding action by both the federal and state/territory Governments.

Diabetes Australia CEO A/Professor Greg Johnson said it was important to assess Australia's progress in responding to the challenges of the diabetes epidemic.

The new report also updates the growth and impact of the diabetes epidemic in the past year, noting that:

• 100,105 Australians were diagnosed with diabetes in the past year

• 1,211,251 Australians are currently living with diabetes

• Around one third of all these people will develop diabetic retinopathy and damage to their eyes

• 36,198 women diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the past year

• 383,439 Australians with diabetes needed insulin injections every day (or insulin pump therapy).

• an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 have undiagnosed, silent type 2 diabetes

• an estimated 2 million Australians have prediabetes and are therefore at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes

• 4,400 diabetes related amputations of toes, feet or limbs have been performed

• 3,500 people with diabetes needed kidney dialysis

• 840,000 hospitalisations related to diabetes

Press release

Diabetes: state of the nation Report

Friday, 18 November 2016

Australian atlas of healthcare variation

An online Interactive Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, covers the areas of:

* Antimicrobial dispensing
* Diagnostic interventions
* Surgical interventions
* Interventions for mental health and psychotropic medicines
* Opioid medicines
* Interventions for chronic diseases.

The interactive atlas provides an easy interface to all the content in the Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation, including the availability of data in easy-to-download formats. Users are able to look at maps of Primary Health and Local Hospital networks and compare their areas with state, national and sometimes international rates.

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016 report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

This comprehensive report card measures where things have improved (or not) against 52 indicators across a range of areas including governance, leadership and culture, early childhood, education, health, home and safe and supportive communities, and includes case studies on things that work to improve outcomes.

Indigenous Australians are becoming more disadvantaged, with alarming increases in imprisonment rates, mental health problems and self harm, according to the report.

The Commission's Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report says despite some positive trends, the plight of Indigenous Australians has "stagnated or worsened" in critical areas of wellbeing. Among the findings, the national Indigenous imprisonment rate has surged by 77 per cent over the past 15 years and the hospitalisation rate for self harm is up by 56 per cent over the past decade.

Download the report, and supporting material

Indigenous Australians' wellbeing 'stagnating or worsening', Productivity Commission report reveals (ABC)

Monday, 14 November 2016

Solutions that work: addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide rates

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project has released their report into indigenous suicide rates. "Solutions that work: what the evidence and our people tell us is a milestone in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing," said Commission CEO Dr Peggy Brown.

The report evaluated 88 suicide prevention programs Australia-wide to identify and analyse the most successful. The report's 17 recommendations to government, including that local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services remain preferred mental health service providers, are key to addressing the unacceptable rate of suicide in Indigenous communities.

About the report

Report: Solutions that work: addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide rates.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The use of lung function testing for the diagnosis and management of chronic airways disease demonstration data linkage project using the 45 and Up Study 2001-2014

This demonstration data linkage study investigates the use of lung function testing in the diagnosis and management of chronic airways disease. It uses data from the 45 and Up Study linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) data. The study shows that:

* contrary to recommended guidelines, most study participants (82%) initiated on medications for managing their chronic airways disease did not have lung function testing performed within 12 months, either before or after their initial prescription
* among respondents who reported having current asthma, lung function testing was only claimed for about one-quarter (26%) in a recent 3-year period and 12% had only 1 lung function test claim during that time.

The evidence from this study will inform initiatives to help improve appropriate prescribing and health outcomes for people with chronic airways disease. This project also provides a demonstration of methods that could also potentially be used to fill evidence gaps associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and cancer.

Download report: The use of lung function testing for the diagnosis and management of chronic airways disease demonstration data linkage project using the 45 and Up Study 2001-2014.

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