Indigenous Palliative Care

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) and Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet launched the new Palliative Care and End-of-Life Resource portal for the workforce who support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today at Parliament House in Canberra.

 

https://healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/learn/health-system/palliative-care/  The palliative care and end-of-life portal is designed to assist health professionals who provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities.

 

Director of the HealthInfoNet, Professor Neil Drew, said the portal will support both clinicians and policy-makers to access research and projects on palliative and end-of-life care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 

"This collaboration between the HealthInfoNet and Palliative Care Australia will locate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander palliative and end-of-life care resources and make them available all together in the one place for health professionals.

"This will make the relevant information available to the workforce through a state of the art online portal to support decision-making and best-practice care.

"A yarning place will be established in early 2019 to facilitate information sharing and support among clinicians," said Professor Drew.

 

Dedicated sections of the site deal with Grief & Bereavement, Planning Ahead and Culturally Appropriate End -of-life Care. The site is underpinned by a large selection of publications, resources, policy information, organisation and program details

 

http://palliativecare.org.au/wp-content/uploads/dlm_uploads/2018/10/Supporting-Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-people-at-the-end-of-life.pdf  Media Release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)

http://apo.org.au/system/files/196586/apo-nid196586-1025476.pdf National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)

 

Key findings:

  • 42% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people planned to go to university compared to 72% non-Indigenous young people.
  • Over 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated that getting a job was highly important to them and they were more likely to be looking for employment compared to non-Indigenous young people.
  • 27% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people reported that they had spent time away from home because they felt they couldn't go back. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were more likely than non-Indigenous young people to be extremely/very concerned about drugs, bullying/emotional abuse, personal safety, discrimination and alcohol.
  • The majority of young people indicated feeling positive overall about their lives, however, just under 1 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated their happiness with life as a whole was a '0' out of 10 (compared to 1 in 50 non-Indigenous young people).
  • The vast majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (75%) rated family relationships as extremely or very important to them. Almost twice the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people rated their family's ability to get along as poor (13% compared with 7% of non-Indigenous young people).

Key policy recommendations:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people should be at the centre of policy and practice with solutions designed, developed and led by the young people and their representative community organisations. In order that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are supported to thrive and reach their full potential there needs to be a focus on:
  • Supporting educational engagement and addressing challenges to further study in culturally appropriate ways.
  • Providing employment and training programs that are Indigenous-led, flexible and responsive.
  • Identifying the deeper, structural causes of mental health difficulties and building on a strong sense of social, cultural and emotional wellbeing.
  • Reducing the high rates of homelessness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people as a national priority.
  • Designing services that take into consideration the cultural connections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and communities.
  • Taking a holistic approach to service design that works across the domains of education, employment, health, housing and social inclusion and combats intergenerational disadvantage

http://apo.org.au/system/files/196586/apo-nid196586-1025476.pdf National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)

 

 

 

Health in Australia: a quick guide (Parliamentary LIbrary)

Health in Australia: a quick guide, produced by the Australian Parliamentary Library, provides a wealth of links to information on the Australian system and who does what within it. Also included are links regarding private health insurance, health expenditure, International comparisons, the health workforce and useful data sources. There is a wealth of information here for anyone trying to find their way around the Australian health system.

Qualitative research in healthcare: modern methods, clear translation - a white paper

This White Paper from the Australian Institute of Health Innovation aims to shine a light on how qualitative methods are being used in health services and medical research contexts, and how they might be used more effectively. It aims to fire the reader's imagination by revealing the scope of qualitative methods across a range of studies, and the impact of qualitative methods on research outcomes and healthcare practices.

In this monograph you will learn about current methods in use, and how they are making a difference to healthcare practice. These include some lesser-known biographical and photographic methods. You will also learn about the way in which research results are being implemented to improve patient safety and the quality of care.

Qualitative research in healthcare: modern methods, clear translation - a white paper.

Reducing harms related to alcohol use in pregnancy: policy and practice recommendations (Deeble Institute)

With the NHMRC Guidelines currently under review and the National Alcohol Strategy and FASD Strategic Action Plan in development, it is timely to consider how health sector policy and practice can be effectively used to address antenatal alcohol use in Australia.

Major barriers to the prevention of PAE and FASD include a lack of public awareness of the Alcohol Guidelines and the risks associated with PAE, as well as limitations in antenatal alcohol screening and data collection. With the NHMRC Guidelines currently under review and the National Alcohol Strategy and FASD Strategic Action Plan in development, it is timely to consider how health sector policy and practice can be effectively used to address antenatal alcohol use in Australia.

Major recommendations include:

  • The provision of clear, coherent and targeted messaging through policy, practice guidelines, position statements, and mainstream media that there is no established safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
  • The consistent implementation of universal alcohol screening practices prior to pregnancy and throughout the antenatal period.
  • Ongoing capacity building within the health workforce to support clinicians to effectively screen for, advise about and provide appropriate intervention for PAE.
  • The introduction of systematic reporting of alcohol in pregnancy data, to the Perinatal National Data Collection, to support the development of evidence-based policy and prevention approaches.

    Deeble Institute Report

  • Lifeline Drought Toolkit

    Lifeline has seen a rise in crisis phone calls from regional communities due to the drought. To help people cope with the drought, Lifeline has prepared the Lifeline Drought Tool Kit, a hands-on guide with practical advice.

    The 8-page guide features 10 main points including how to access financial counselling, deal with isolation and has advice on stress management and family and mental health.

    Stephanie Robinson, CEO, Lifeline Central West, said a prevailing concern was how to start the conversation:

    "The drought affects everyone differently, it might be the impact it has on your business which causes financial strain, it might be that your marriage breaks down, we hear these stories every day".

    "This is a really practical resource that will help people know where to go for help, that there is support out there."

    "But what it really does is, it talks about in rural communities we are so connected."

    "We need to look out for one another and support one another."

    Website and downloadable version.

    Media Release.

    Trends in injury deaths 1999–00 to 2014–15 [AIHW]

    Trends in injury deaths 1999–00 to 2014–15 focuses on trends in deaths due to injury and poisoning that occurred over the period 1999–00 to 2014–15.

    The age-standardised rate of injury deaths decreased from 55.4 to 47.2 deaths per 100,000 between 1999–00 and 2004–05 and changed little after that. Rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were generally at least twice as high as rates for non-Indigenous Australians over the period from 2001–02 to 2014–15.

    Glove Box Guide to Mental Health 2018.

    The Land and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) have launched the 7th edition of the Glove Box Guide to Mental Health this morning, encouraging rural communities to work together and support each other during tough times.

    This year the theme is Let's Work Together and the centre is inviting members of the Orange community to participate in a joint activity showcasing how they work together with their communities to build good mental wellbeing.

    RAMHP program manager Tessa Caton said that one of the key aims of the launch is to demonstrate collaboration and lift the community spirit during tough times.

    "Community members will have the chance to share their ideas on a large banner about how they work together with their community to build good mental wellbeing," she said. "Following on from the launch, the banner will be displayed in the Orange City Library during Mental Health Month as a reminder to the community about the good things people are doing to support each other and how they intend to support each other in the future."

    This year's Guide provides practical information and education including online therapies and information on mental well-being tools and apps, as well as tips and strategies on how to stay mentally healthy. Readers can also find relevant stories and information on topics relating to youth, workplaces and communities.Personal stories throughout the Guide touch on what it feels like to struggle with a mental illness and why seeking help is so important.

    Glove-Box guide to Mental Health launches today (The Land)

    Launch Press Release

    Online version of the 2018 Glovebox Guide to mental health

    Health expenditure Australia 2016–17 [AIHW]

    Health expenditure Australia 2016–17 reveals that Australia spent $180.7 billion on health in 2016–17—more than $7,400 per person. Real growth in spending of 4.7% in 2016–17 was 1.6 percentage points higher than the average over the past five years (3.1%). Non-government sources recorded the lowest growth rate in health spending in the decade to 2016–17—0.2% compared with the decade average of 4.8%.

    Media release: Growth in health spending at 5 year high, driven by government spending.

    Royal Commission into Aged Care: Nurse has her say

    SHE has been subject to inappropriate touching, assault and been pushed up against a wall and threatened - welcome to the aged care sector.
    While much of the focus since Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has been on mistreatment of the elderly, one nurse says just as much focus should be given to abuse of staff.
    This nurse in the NSW Central West, who asked not to be named for fear of losing her job, says if she worked in any other industry that the abuse would not be tolerated – action would be swift and offender/s would be targeted with police action.
    The first thing this nurse wanted to make clear was that she loves her job, every day brings something new and she loves the opportunity of being able to assist those most vulnerable in society.
    But, in her eight years in the industry she has also been left frightened, assaulted, scratched and scarred and claims that nothing is done my management when the abuse is reported.

    See more at : https://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/5667531/aged-care-staff-cop-a-fair-share-of-abuse-too-says-nurse/?cs=9397

    Recovering ice addicts treated with ADHD medication in Australian trials

    A drug prescribed to treat an attention deficit disorder is being used to help methamphetamine users kick their addictions in trials across New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

    The drug lisdexamfetamine, also known as lisdex, is often used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but researchers believe it could help people reduce their dependence to the drug ice.

    Trials are already underway in New South Wales and South Australia, and soon Victoria will join them with a trial of 25 people, after funding was provided by the Andrews Government.

    See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-25/ice-addicts-treated-with-adhd-drugs-in-victorian-trial/10302468

    New funding for innovation in suicide prevention

    Australian researchers are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to apply for up to $100,000 each in Australian Government funding to develop new knowledge and approaches to suicide prevention.

    Part of the Government’s $12 million Suicide Prevention Research Fund (SPRF) administered by Suicide Prevention Australia, the Innovation Grants aim to invest up to $300,000 in total in new Australian research over one to two years.

    “We’re looking for Australian researchers with bold ideas about how we can better protect people from suicide, and intervene to prevent suicide,” said Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray.

    Read more at: https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/news/new-funding-innovation-suicide-prevention

    'Not a day goes by': Mental health is the number one reason people are going to the GP

    GPs are treating mental health issues more than any other condition, according to a new report released this week. A survey of 1,500 frontline GPs by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners found that two in three were reporting psychological problems as one of the most common ailments they now treated.
     
    As a result, GPs are struggling to keep up — many forced to cram often complex cases into six-minute consultations, charge their patients for more time, or wear the out-of-pocket cost. With aged care now in the spotlight, GPs are also signalling that providing adequate care in nursing homes is becoming a major problem.

    Read more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-19/number-one-reason-why-people-see-their-gps-mental-health/10281134

    Plan to improve mental health support for Australian university students

    Many students struggle with stress and other issues of mental health and are unsure how to access help. AMSA and Orygen have designed a framework to address the problem on a national level.

    AMSA President Alex Farrell believes student mental health has been ‘underfunded and under-talked-about for a long time’. I don’t know where to go, and I’m ashamed to be struggling at uni.’

    These are the words of a student from a recent report produced by Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, to investigate the mental health of Australian university students.

    Read more at: https://www.racgp.org.au/newsGP/Professional/Plan-to-improve-mental-health-support-for-Australi

    New knowledge exchange products on alcohol use among Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people

    The Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre have added a suite of online resources which are now available on the website. Based on the Review of harmful alcohol use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, there are 3 new resources available

  • an animated infographic
  • a HealthInfoByte
  • an eBook

    The animated infographic provides an audio visual snapshot of key information found in the review, in an engaging format, while the eBook is an interactive, online version of the review with additional, enhanced features such as embedded videos and illustrations. The HealthInfoByte is part of a series which promotes HealthInfoNet reviews and provides short, 'byte' sized information.

  • Mental Health Nursing Practice and Indigenous Australians: A Multi-Sited Ethnography

    Camping under the stars might just be the way to helping to rebuild happiness

    Camping is being lauded as way to help you feel better about yourself, get closer to your loved ones and create a sense of reconnection to the world.
     
    In a world where the fear of missing out (FOMO) is contributing to anxiety, camping may have a special place in improving mental health by its ability to cut people off from technology.
    Alistair Mitchell is one person who says drawing on his early childhood experiences of camping and getting back to nature helped his long road to recovery from mental illness.

    For more details see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-16/camping-for-mental-health/10238198

    Latest review shows many cancers are preventable among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet at Edith Cowan University has published a new Review of cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew, said 'The review shows that cultural safety in service provision, increased participation in breast, bowel and cervical screening and reduction in risk factors will improve outcomes for cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, followed by breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer. Tobacco smoking is still seen as the greatest risk factor for cancer.'

     

    Links page

    Health Economic Impact of Multiple Sclerosis In Australia 2017

    New findings from a landmark research report show that while the number of Australians living with multiple sclerosis (MS) continues to rise – now at 25,600 – the course of the disease is shifting with more people able to stay in work and needing less care and support as a result of changes in treatment strategies.

    On the other hand, costs for people living with more advanced MS are incredibly high, more than triple per person compared to those with milder disease (from $30,561 for people with no disability to $114,813 for people with severe disability). The quality of life impact for people living with severe disability is comparable to, or even lower than that reported for terminal metastatic cancer, chronic kidney disease and severe heart disease.

    The Health Economic Impact of Multiple Sclerosis in Australia 2017 report, commissioned by MS Research Australia and prepared by the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, is the first in nearly eight years to provide a comprehensive landscape analysis of MS in Australia. It shows how many Australians are now living with MS, the costs of the disease from an individual and societal perspective, and the quality of life indices for individuals living with MS.

    Health Economic Impact of MS in Australia in 2017 Report

    Health Economic Impact of MS in Australia in 2017 Report Executive Summary

    Media Release

    Lack of planning for mental health patients leaving hospital is putting lives at risk, experts warn

    Experts are concerned many mental health patients are leaving hospitals without support and it is putting them at greater risk of suicide. Shortly after Craig Dixon was discharged from a Darwin mental health ward in 2016 he attempted to end his life.
     
    Mr Dixon felt that his depression was exacerbated by having no support to help him adjust to life at home, and that his time in hospital did not help him address his underlying problems.

    He is now recovering, but strongly believes his journey could have been different had there been post-discharge support available to him.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-03/mental-health-patients-missing-out-on-discharge-plans/10167924

    Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer

    Cancer is the third leading cause of fatal burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are, on average, 40% more likely to die from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians. Healthcare that is patient-focused and that is respectful of, and responsive to, the preferences, needs and values of patients, is critical to good health care outcomes.

    The Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer provides health services and health professionals across all sectors in Australia with principles and guidance to ensure that care is responsive to the needs of Indigenous people.

    Cancer Australia is calling on health professionals and health services involved in the delivery of cancer care at every level to read, use, adopt and embed the Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer into their practice.

    The Optimal Care Pathway is accompanied by consumer resources, which outline what patients should expect on the cancer pathway, and the care they should be offered, from tests and diagnosis, through to treatment and care after treatment, management of cancer that has spread, and end-of-life care.

     

    Optimal care pathway for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people with cancer

    Media Release.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations and descendants: numbers, demographic characteristics and selected outcomes [AIHW]

    The AIHW has released a new report in collaboration with The Healing Foundation.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations and descendants: numbers, demographic characteristics and selected outcomes provides estimated numbers and demographic characteristics of the Stolen Generations and descendants using a series of ABS surveys.

    It also presents a range of health and socioeconomic outcomes for the Stolen Generations and descendants, and differences with Indigenous and non-Indigenous comparison groups, to examine the effects of removal from families.

    The findings in the report will be useful to assess the needs of the Stolen Generations and their families. 

    'The data shows poorer health and social outcomes among this group of Indigenous Australians compared to those who were not removed from their families,' said AIHW spokesperson Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman.'For example, Indigenous people who were removed from their families are more than 3 times as likely to have been incarcerated in the last 5 years, and 1.8 times as likely to rely on government payments as their main source of income and 1.7 times as likely to experience violence compared to those who were not removed.' They are also more likely to have experienced discrimination, be unemployed or not own a home, and less likely to report good general health.

     

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations and descendants: numbers, demographic characteristics and selected outcomes.

    Media release: New report shows long-term disadvantage for Australia's Stolen Generations

    Clinical guidlines for atrial fibrillation

    Australia's first guidelines for the diagnosis and management of adult patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), released by the Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ), aim to have a major impact on the condition that causes a third of all strokes in Australia.

    AF is linked to 1 in 11 deaths in Australia and is the most common recurrent arrhythmia faced in clinical practice, but its incidence is underestimated because many people do not realise they have it.  A major cause of stroke, AF is projected to double over the next 20 years in Australians aged 55 years and over, while deaths from AF have increased by 82% over the past 10 years.

    Heart Foundation chief medical adviser, cardiologist Professor Garry Jennings, said the guidelines aim to have a significant impact on Australians living with AF through evidence-based recommendations on its screening, diagnosis and treatment. "More than half a million Australians currently live with atrial fibrillation, and the condition has a substantial effect on patients' well-being," Professor Jennings said. "But its incidence is underestimated because many patients don't have clinical symptoms. This means AF is often only discovered once it triggers serious consequences, such as stroke.

    "The guidelines offer advice in a local context and are based on new and emerging evidence on issues such as the complexities of using newer anticoagulants to prevent stroke, and the patients in whom catheter ablation is recommended.

    "The guidelines also advise on the need to prevent, detect and manage several risk factors that can cause AF and increase its complications, including hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, valvular heart disease, and alcohol excess."

    From a public health perspective, AF imposes a growing burden on healthcare resources. AF hospitalisations are increasing at a far greater rate than hospitalisations for other cardiovascular conditions, with 10-30% of AF patients admitted to hospital each year.   

    Stroke Foundation Clinical Council Chair Associate Professor Bruce Campbell said patients with AF were up to five times more likely to have a stroke than the general community. "Patients with AF are not only more likely to have a stroke, but the strokes caused by AF are more commonly severe or fatal than other ischaemic stroke (caused by a clot) subgroups, so detecting and treating this dangerous condition is vital to a person's health," A/Prof Campbell said.

     "This Australian-first guideline supports health professionals to better assess patient needs for stroke prevention strategies to significantly reduce the occurrence of stroke caused by AF."

    Australian Clinical Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Atrial Fibrillation 2018.

    The All.Can Cancer initiative patient survey launches in Australia

    Australians who have been diagnosed and treated for cancer have the opportunity to share their experiences with the world as part of a global research project spearheaded by All.Can, an initiative committed to improving cancer care. The global patient survey has been launched in 10 countries to identify common issues cancer patients experience with the aim of discovering what is preventing patients from getting optimal cancer care.

    The survey is open to all current or former cancer patients.

     

    Survey link: http://www.myonlinesurvey.co.uk/allcan_ENAU/

    Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities: guidelines for researchers and stakeholders

    This guide from the National Health and Medical Research Council provides a set of principles to ensure research is safe, respectful, responsible, high quality and of benefit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

    The health, wellbeing and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples continue to be the focus of much research to promote positive outcomes. Over the years, research has contributed to positive outcomes and benefits in, for example, health, medicine and education, and in preserving the languages, stories and songs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities in culturally appropriate ways.



    However, not all research has been of benefit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities. This absence of benefit can often be understood in the context of ethical considerations related to human research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.



    Ethical research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities should:

    • improve the way all researchers work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities
    • develop and/or strengthen research capabilities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities
    • enhance the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as researchers, research partners, collaborators and participants in research

    Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities: guidelines for researchers and stakeholders

    National Action Plan for Endometriosis

    Health Minister Greg Hunt has launched the National Action Plan for Endometriosis — the first ever blueprint seeking to improve the treatment, understanding and awareness of an often misunderstood and crippling condition.

    Endometriosis affects 1 in every 10 Australian women, with the average diagnosis taking between 7 to 10 years. The plan was developed with medical specialists, endometriosis advocacy groups, women with endometriosis and their families, clinicians, researchers and parliamentarians.

    In launching the action plan, Minister Hunt noted that while we were at the beginning of this journey, the plan — which outlines a comprehensive 5 year strategy — was a significant step forward for sufferers.

    National Action Plan for Endometriosis

    Finding real mental health solutions for rural Australia

    AUSTRALIA’S mental health support services cannot use a one size fits all approach to lowering rates of mental illness and suicide in rural parts of the nation.
     
    This is the opinion of Lifeline Research Foundation executive director Alan Woodward, who said there were a number of unique facets to rural living that led to different challenges than those faced in the city.
     
    “The statistics are not great, it shows the further away from a capital city you live the higher the suicide rate is,” Mr Woodward told last week’s Innovation Generation conference in Wagga Wagga.

    He said researchers were discovering a range of factors for the poor mental health ratings in rural areas.
     
    Read more at: https://www.theland.com.au/story/5532370/finding-real-mental-health-solutions-for-rural-australia/?cs=4932

    Aboriginal kids: a healthy start to life

    This report was developed in collaboration with the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council and focuses on key improvements in the health of Aboriginal children in New South Wales in the first 5 years of life.

    The report emphasises the importance of services and programs being carried out in partnership with Aboriginal people, their communities, the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector and across government. Services and programs that have helped to achieve improvements in Aboriginal child health are highlighted throughout the report.

    The report is divided into 3 life stages: before birth, infant health and early childhood.

    Aboriginal kids: a healthy start to life (Report of the NSW Chief Health Officer 2018).

    Assuring equity of access and quality outcomes for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: what needs to be done?

    This report outlines the proceedings and outcomes of the 5th National Workshop of the Australian Association of Gerontology Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing Advisory Group held in Perth in November 2017.

    The workshop aimed to address the inequities of access and outcomes for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples under the current aged care reform program, and suggest directions for the future.

    Key issues identified at the workshop were:

    • current barriers to equity of access and quality outcomes
    • specialist targeted services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders
    • delivery of appropriate care by mainstream aged care service providers
    • an aged care workforce that improves access and quality care
    • advocacy services
    • appropriate aged care needs assessment
    • an evidence-based approach.

    Assuring equity of access and quality outcomes for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: what needs to be done?

    Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (AIHW)

    This is the 3rd national report on the 21 Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with updated data available to report on 14 measures. It shows that while the mortality rate from cardiac conditions is falling among Indigenous Australians, it is still much higher than among non-Indigenous Australians. While access to cardiac-related health services is improving the incidence and recurrent rates of acute rheumatic fever among Indigenous Australians continue to be much higher than in non-Indigenous Australians.

    Press release (AHHA): Come a long way, long way to go—cardiac care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    Sleep deprived: a third of Australians 'suffering social jetlag'

    Almost one in three Australians suffers “social jet lag”, according to a researcher seeking an inquiry into the nation’s sleep deprivation problem. The University of Adelaide sleep specialist Robert Adams said a growing body of research suggested poor sleep was taking a serious toll on Australians’ health and welfare.

    A study led by Adams, published on Monday in the journal Sleep Medicine, found that 31% of survey respondents were suffering social jetlag. That is, the time of their sleep on work nights was more than an hour out of sync with sleeps on weekends or other days off.

    Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jul/09/sleep-deprived-a-third-of-australians-suffering-social-jetlag

    Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2016–17

    In 2016–17, 836 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 200,000 treatment episodes to an estimated 127,000 clients.

    The top four drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (32% of all treatment episodes), amphetamines (26%), cannabis (22%) and heroin (5%). The proportion of closed treatment episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines has more than doubled over the last 10 years, from 11% of treatment episodes in 2007–08 to 27% in 2016–17.

    Two-thirds (66%) of all clients receiving treatment in 2016–17 were male and the median age of clients remains at 33 years.

    Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2016–17.

    Australia's health 2018 [AIHW]

    https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/health-welfare-overview/australias-health/overview Australia's health 2018  is the AIHW's 16th biennial report on the health of Australians. It examines a wide range of contemporary topics in a series of analytical feature articles and short statistical snapshots. The report also summarises the performance of the health system against an agreed set of indicators.

     

    Australia's health 2018: in brief  is a companion report to Australia's health 2018.

     

    https://www.aihw.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/2018/june/our-health-report-card-is-in-and-here-s-what-we-ca Media Release

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2017

    The main purpose of the Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2017 is to provide a comprehensive summary of the most recent indicators of the health and current health status of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It has been prepared by Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet staff as part of our contribution to supporting those who work in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. The Overview is a key element of the HealthInfoNet's commitment to authentic and engaged knowledge development and exchange.

    The initial sections of this Overview provide information about the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population, and various measures of population health status. Most of the subsequent sections about specific health conditions comprise an introduction about the condition and evidence of the current burden of the condition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Information is provided for state and territories and for demographics such as sex and age when it is available and appropriate.

    While it provides a comprehensive review of key indicators across a range of health topics, it is beyond the scope of this Overview to provide detailed information on other aspects, such as the availability and use of services (including barriers to their use) and strategies and policies related to specific health topics.

    Accompanying the Overview is a set of PowerPoint slides designed to help lecturers and others provide up-to-date information. 

    Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2017

    NSW eating disorders toolkit

    The NSW eating disorders toolkit aims to assist health professionals in applying best-practice principles in non-specialist inpatient settings in NSW. The Toolkit aims to assist with improving access to practical information, to facilitate consultation with specialist staff and to improve consistency of care for children and adolescents with eating disorders across NSW.

    The Toolkit has been developed to provide practical information on key components of care for children and adolescents admitted with an eating disorder including:

    • Triage in the Emergency Department;

    • Assessment;

    • Identifying those in need of admission;

    • Admitting the patient;

    • Accessing specialist assistance;

    • Treatment planning;

    • Implementing treatment (primarily medical, nutritional and psychological aspects);

    • Involving the family and other health professionals;

    • Transition from inpatient care; and

    • Accessing further information and support.

    The NSW eating disorders toolkit

    Pregnancy care guidelines (Aust. Dept. of Health)

    The Pregnancy Care Guidelines are designed to support Australian maternity services to provide high-quality, evidence-based antenatal care to healthy pregnant women. They are intended for all health professionals who contribute to antenatal care including midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and allied health professionals. They are implemented at national, state, territory and local levels to provide consistency of antenatal care in Australia and ensure maternity services provide high-quality, evidence-based maternity care. The Pregnancy Care Guidelines cover a wide range of topics including routine physical examinations, screening tests and social and lifestyle advice for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

    Guidelines Webpage.

    Impact of a remotely delivered, writing for publication program on publication outcomes of novice researchers

    Increased publication of clinician-led health research is important for improving patient care and health outcomes. The aim of this retrospective cohort study conducted in rural Australia was to determine the impact of a writing for publication (WFP) program delivered by teleconference on the publication rates and skill acquisition of novice researchers who have graduated from the New South Wales (NSW) Health Education and Training Institute Rural Research Capacity Building Program (RRCBP).

    Publishing research findings in peer-reviewed journals is an important aspect of research knowledge exchange1. However, the motivators to publish vary between individuals and settings. In academic settings, the drive to publish health research findings can potentially be motivated by a need to maximise publication rates for academic advancement or promotion as much as the desire to share findings for the good of health consumers and providers2,3. Within health services, research and the publication of findings is increasingly being linked to translation of research into policy or practice change processes4 aimed at improving health service delivery or health outcomes for consumers.

    See more at: https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/4468

    eHealth program targets young people’s ‘big six’ behaviours to reduce chronic disease risk

    University of Newcastle researchers have collaborated on a world-first eHealth initiative aiming to target young people’s ‘big six’ behaviours to help reduce their chronic disease risk.

    Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin and Professor David Lubans are part of the online Health4Life Initiative, launched today at UNSW Sydney.Led by UNSW’s Professor Maree Teesson AC, the project aims to help to help thousands of young Australian high school children reduce their chance of developing chronic diseases, including heart disease and mental health disorders, by preventing and modifying lifestyle risk behaviours that commonly emerge in adolescence.

    See more at: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/newsroom/featured-news/ehealth-program-targets-young-peoples-big-six-behaviours-to-reduce-chronic-disease-risk

    Admitted patient care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics,

    Admissions to public hospitals are growing faster than admissions to private hospitals, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

    The report, Admitted patient care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics, shows that of the 11 million admissions to hospitals in 2016–17, 6.6 million were in public hospitals and 4.4 million were in private hospitals.

    'Admissions rose by 4.3% on average each year for public hospitals and 3.6% for private hospitals between 2012–13 and 2016–17, and these were greater than the average growth in population of 1.6% over the same period' said AIHW spokesperson Jenny Hargreaves.

    In 2016–17, the majority of admissions to public hospitals (83% or 5.5 million) were for public patients—however, about 1 in 7 (14% or 912,000 admissions) were for patients who used private health insurance to fund all or part of their admission.

    Public hospitals accounted for the majority of emergency admissions (92%), medical admissions (77%) and childbirth admissions (76%) in 2016-17. 'By contrast, 59% of admissions for surgery were in private hospitals,' Ms Hargreaves said.

    Media release

    Admitted patient care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics

    MyHospitals: Average length of stay in public hospitals in 2016–17

    MyHospitals: Patient admissions in 2016–17

    Deficit discourse and strengths-based approaches: Changing the narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing

    Deficit discourse and strengths-based approaches: Changing the narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing explores strengths-based approaches to shifting the deficit narrative in the Australian aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. Studies, including a companion report to this one entitled Deficit Discourse and Indigenous Health: How Narrative Framings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are Reproduced in Policy, have identified a prevalent 'deficit discourse' across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy and practice.

    There is evidence that deficit discourse has an impact on health itself — that it is a barrier to improving health outcomes. Accordingly, there are growing calls for alternative ways to think about and discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing. This report builds on Deficit Discourse and Indigenous Health by reviewing and analysing a growing body of work from Australia and overseas that proposes ways to displace deficit discourse in health, or that provides examples of attempts to do so. The most widely accepted approaches to achieving this come under the umbrella term 'strengths-based', which seek to move away from the traditional problem-based paradigm and offer a different language and set of solutions to overcoming an issue.

    Deficit discourse and Indigenous health

    Deficit discourse and Indigenous health explores 'deficit discourse' in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy. 'Discourse', in this context, encompasses thought represented in written and spoken communication and/or expressed through practices.

    The term draws attention to the circulation of ideas, the processes by which these ideas shape conceptual and material realities, and the power inequalities that contribute to and result from these processes. 'Deficit discourse' refers to discourse that represents people or groups in terms of deficiency – absence, lack or failure.

    It particularly denotes discourse that narrowly situates responsibility for problems with the affected individuals or communities, overlooking the larger socio-economic structures in which they are embedded. Understanding how deficit discourses are produced and reproduced is essential to challenging them. Thus, this report examines various aspects of deficit discourse in policy, but in particular considers deficit metrics: the ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are homogenised and statistically compared to non-Indigenous Australians.

    Suicidal teens suffer poor sleep, bullying

    Family trauma, bullying, poor sleep and living in a single-parent home have been identified as common risk factors for suicidal behaviour among Australian adolescents.

    Researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute reviewed all admissions to the mental health unit at Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne between October 2013 and September 2014.

    In total, there were 271 adolescents admitted during the period, with 212 (78 per cent) due to suicidal behaviours.

    Further analysis of clinical reports and past medical history found overwhelmingly the kids who were admitted to hospital for suicidal behaviour came from traumatic backgrounds.Three-in-five had been bullied, more than half reported significant family trauma, such as as witnessing a parent have a drug overdose or being incarcerated, said lead researcher Dr Rohan Borschmann.

    Read more at: https://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/5417653/suicidal-teens-suffer-poor-sleep-bullying/?cs=7

    New Leadership in Suicide Prevention

    Nieves Murray is the new CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia, and boasts extensive leadership experience across multiple sectors. She is this week’s Changemaker.

    On 14 May, Murray was announced as the new CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia, a peak body for the suicide prevention sector. Murray, who is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders, was named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review in 2013.

    In this week’s Changemaker, Murray discusses the leadership approach she intends to take at SPA, explains her immediate priorities as CEO and reveals her new passion for playing the harp.

    Read more at: https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/05/new-leadership-suicide-prevention/

    How primary health care staff working in rural and remote areas access skill development and expertise to support health promotion practice

    Health promotion is a key component of comprehensive primary health care. Health promotion approaches complement healthcare management by enabling individuals to increase control over their health. Many primary healthcare staff have a role to play in health promotion practice, but their ability to integrate health promotion into practice is influenced by their previous training and experience.

    For primary healthcare staff working in rural and remote locations, access to professional development can be limited by what is locally available and prohibitive in terms of cost for travel and accommodation. This study provides insight into how staff at a large north Queensland Aboriginal community controlled health service access skill development and health promotion expertise to support their work.

    See more at: https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/4413

    Advance care planning in aged care: a guide to support implementation in community and residential settings

    Advance care planning is the process of planning for future health and personal care needs. It provides a way for a person to make their values and preferences known so that they can guide decision-making at a future time when they cannot make or communicate their decisions.

    Engaging in advance care planning helps people to determine their healthcare priorities, and thereby to align their health and care preferences with the actual care they receive.

    Advance care planning is not a single event but an ongoing process, which should be revisited regularly. This is especially important when a person's health or social situation changes.

    Key components of advance care planning are:

    • having a conversation about the person's values, beliefs and goals and how these influence preferences for care – this may include specific care and treatment preferences
    • selecting and appointing a substitute decision-maker
    • documenting a person's preferences in an Advance Care Directive or Advance Care Plan
    • regularly reviewing and updating the plan or directive.

    Media release

    Advance care planning in aged care: a guide to support implementation in community and residential settings

    4 new AIHW injury reports from the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

    Trends in hospitalised injury due to falls in older people 2002-03 to 2014-15
    This report focuses on trends in fall-related hospital care for people aged 65 and over from 2002-03 to 2014-15. Age-standardised rates of hospitalised fall injury cases increased over the period 2002-03 to 2014-15 for both men (3% per year) and women (2%). There was a decrease in the rate of hip fractures due to falls (-2% per year) between 2002-03 and 2014-15. In contrast, falls resulting in head injuries increased at a particularly high rate (7% per year).

    Eye injuries in Australia 2010-11 to 201415
    This report shows 51,778 people were hospitalised as a result of an eye injury in the 5-year period, 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2015; two-thirds of these were males. Falls (35%) and assaults (23%) were the most common causes of eye injuries. The most common type of eye injury was an open wound of the eyelid and periocular area (27%). Some 86,602 presentations were made to an emergency department due to an eye injury in the 2-year period, 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015; 1% of these presentations were admitted to hospital.

    Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia 1999-00 to 2014-15
    This report shows that the rate of hospitalised injury cases in Australia rose between 1999-00 and 2014-15 by an average of 1% per year. In 2014-15, case numbers and rates were higher for males than females for all age groups up to 60-64, and higher for females for those aged 65-69 and older.

    Spinal cord injury, Australia 2014-15
    In 2014-15, 264 newly incident cases of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) due to external causes were reported to the Australian Spinal Cord Injury Register. Males accounted for 4 in 5 (80%) of traumatic SCI cases. Land transport crashes(42%) were the leading mechanism of injury for cases of traumatic SCI sustained in 2014-15, followed by falls (40%). Around one-third (35%) were sustained during sports or leisure activities.

    Please click on the link below to download a free PDF copy of the reports

    Trends in hospitalised injury due to falls in older people 2002-03 to 2014-15

    Eye injuries in Australia 2010-11 to 2014-15

    Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia 1999-00 to 2014-15

    Spinal cord injury, Australia 2014-15

    Media release: Falls most common cause of hospitalised injury-with numbers rising

    2 new AIHW cancer surveillance reports [AIHW]

    Cervical screening in Australia 2018

    Around 55% of women in the target age group of 20-69 took part in the National Cervical Screening Program in 2015 and 2016, with more than 3.8 million women screening.Cervical cancer incidence and mortality have both decreased since the National Cervical Screening Program began in 1991-incidence from 17 to 10 new cases per 100,000 women aged 20-69 and mortality from 4 to 2 deaths per 100,000 women aged 20-69.

    Latest findings

    1. In 2015-2016, more than 3.8 million women participated in cervical screening. This was 55% of women aged 20-69

    2. 10% of women with a negative screen in 2015 rescreened earlier than the recommended 2 years, continuing a downward trend

    3. In 2016, for every 1,000 women screened, 7 women had a high-grade abnormality detected by histology

    4. In 2015, 143 women aged 20-69 died from cervical cancer.

    National Bowel Cancer Screening Program: monitoring report 2018

    This report presents statistics on the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program using key performance indicators. Of those who were invited to participate in the program between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, 41% were screened. Of those, 8% had a positive result warranting further assessment, and 1 in 26 participants who had a follow-up diagnostic assessment was diagnosed with a confirmed or suspected cancer.

     Key findings:

    1. Of the 3.2 million people invited between January 2015 and December 2016, 41% participated in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

    2. The recurring participation rate in 2015-2016 for people who had taken part in an earlier invitation round and were receiving a subsequent screening invitation was 77%

    3. Of participants assessed in 2016 after a positive screening test, 1 in 26 were diagnosed with a confirmed or suspected cancer

    4. Since the program began in August 2006, about 4.4 million NBCSP screening tests have been completed

    5. The median time from positive screening test result to diagnostic assessment was 54 days.

    Download report: Cervical screening in Australia 2018

    Download report: National Bowel Cancer Screening Program: monitoring report 2018

    Mental health services in Australia-Emergency department 2016-17 [AIHW Web update]

    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new web update:

    Mental health services in Australia-Emergency department 2016-17: 

    • 276,954 presentations to Australian EDs in 2016-17 were mental health-related, which was 3.6% of all presentations.
    • 79.2% of these mental health-related ED presentations were classified with a triage status of either Semi-urgent (patient should be seen within 60 minutes) or Urgent (seen within 30 minutes).
    • 68.0% of mental health-related ED presentations were seen on time (based on triage status) compared with 73.0% of all ED presentations
    • More than half (53.5%) of mental health-related ED presentations had a principal diagnosis of either Neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders or Mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use.

      View web pages

    Growing up strong Buraay -- Indigenous parenting resources

    "Growing up strong Buraay" is a book full of games and ideas for Wiradjuri parents on ways to interact with their toddlers (Buraay). Available in PDF from : http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/319807/par_buraay.pdf

    This is one of a number of Indigenous parenting resources sponsored by the Department of Family and Community services. See: http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/parents,-carers-and-families/parenting/for-aboriginal-parents-and-carers

    Two further versions of interest are:

    Growing Up Strong Birrali and Gundanoo – resource for Aboriginal and Family Workers in the Far West region of NSW: Goodooga and surrounding districts.

    Kiilalaana marta-marri – Growing up really big in Barkindji – resource for Aboriginal and Family Workers in the Far West region of NSW: Broken Hill and surrounding region.

    Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia [AIHW]

    Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia is the second national report to present key data specific to cancer in adolescents and young adults. While cancer in young Australians is rare, it has a substantial social and economic impact on individuals, families and the community. Surveillance of this population is also important as adolescent and young adult cancer survivors are at an increased risk of developing a second cancer.

    1. In 2010-2014, 4,843 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in adolescents and young adults.

    2. In 2011-2015, 499 adolescents and young adults died from cancer.

    3. In 2010-2014, 5-year relative survival from all cancers combined for adolescents and young adults was 89%.

    4. Adolescent and young adult cancer survivors had a 1.9 times increased risk of developing a second cancer

    Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia

    Media release: More cases of cancer diagnosed in young Australians, but survival has improved.

    ELDAC: Better care at end of life gets a boost with new website

    The new End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) website provides many paths to practical and useful information for palliative care and advance care planning', says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven.

    The site is part of a 3-year project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health which aims to improve the care of older Australians through advance care planning activities and palliative care connections.

    AHHA is a member of the ELDAC consortium led by the Queensland University of Technology, Flinders University and the University of Technology Sydney, and including Palliative Care Australia, Aged and Community Services Australia, Leading Age Services Australia, and Catholic Health Australia.

    'As an ELDAC project partner we are proud to have been involved in the development of this website, where health professionals and aged care workers can access information, guidance, and resources to support palliative care and advance care planning for older people and their families', Ms Verhoeven said.
     
    'One of the features of the site is a set of 5 online toolkits developed by palliative care, aged care, primary care and legal experts covering Residential Aged Care, Home Care, Primary Care, Working Together, and Legal matters.

    'For example, the Primary Care toolkit, which was developed by AHHA, leads healthcare workers and primary care teams through the various steps involved in supporting advance care planning with patients and their families, including considerations for people of various religious and cultural backgrounds. There are links to fact sheets, guides, discussion starters, patient resources and podcasts.

    'Users can also access materials on assessing palliative care needs, providing palliative care, managing dying, and bereavement', Ms Verhoeven said.

    ELDAC website.

    Cognitive ageing and decline: Insights from recent research

    Cognitive decline is feared by many as they approach old age. Yet the severe cognitive decline associated with dementia is not a normal part of ageing. In Australasia, the prevalence of dementia in those aged 60 and over is less than 7% (Alzheimer's Disease International, 2015). Nevertheless, the personal and economic costs associated with dementia are considerable, and due to Australia's ageing population, an increasing number of Australians require treatment and exit the workforce due to cognitive impairments. 

    So, how do we combat this? How do we lower the risks or delay the development of dementia, and design care and treatment interventions that reduce the personal and economic costs of the disease?

    This research brief explores the impacts of cognitive ageing and decline on individuals, as well as on the wider Australian economy. The brief emphasises how cognitive impairment is a significant barrier to those over sixty staying in the workforce and managing their finances properly. The brief also discusses the current and proposed future ways to diagnose and prevent cognitive impairment before it becomes severe.

    Cognitive ageing and decline: Insights from recent research

    Survey of Health Care: selected findings for rural and remote Australians [AIHW]

    Survey of Health Care: selected findings for rural and remote Australians

    Among Australians 45 and over who visited a GP in the past year, those living in rural and remote areas were less likely than others to have a usual GP or place of care. Not having facilities nearby was a barrier to seeing a specialist and having a medical test.

    Key findings:

    * 3 in 5 people in Remote/Very remote areas said not having a specialist nearby stopped them from seeing one.
    * People in Remote/Very remote areas were the most likely to report going to an ED because no GP was available.
    * People reported decreasing information sharing between health providers as remoteness increased.
    * People in Outer regional and Remote/Very remote areas were the least likely to have a usual GP.

    Survey of Health Care: selected findings for rural and remote Australians

    Cardiovascular health in remote and rural communities

    This report provides analysis of RFDS aeromedical transport data for the period July 2013 to December 2016. This analysis revealed:

    - An average of 112 patients per week or 16 patients per day were transported for CVD;

    - On average, per day, 10.1 (63%) were male and 5.9 (37%) were female, a ratio of 1.7 males for every female;

    - All age groups were represented; the mean age group was 55–59 years, more than one-third (35.3%) were aged 60–74 years, and 1% were children under the age of 5 years.

    More than half (52.5%) of all CVD transports were for CHD. The two main CHDs that lead to a patient requiring an aeromedical transport were 'acute myocardial infarction' (heart attack) (38.9%) and 'angina pectoris' (angina) (9.4%). Almost one-quarter (22.2%) of CVD transports were for patients experiencing other forms of heart disease; the two main other forms of heart disease were 'heart failure' (4.6%) and 'atrial fibrillation and flutter' (4.0%).

    This report's purpose is to detail the CVD burden on remote and rural Australia, and to propose action to ameliorate CVD impacts. Many CVD events are preventable. Increased investment in, and access to, evidence-based, culturally appropriate prevention and early intervention for people at increased risk of CVD, and those who have experienced a CVD event, is required.

    Similarly, better treatment options for remote and rural Australians are also required. For example, between 2001 and 2008 the South Australian integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network (iCCNet) established a support program for remote and rural primary care services to manage heart attacks by providing expert risk stratification, point-of-care troponin testing and cardiologist-supported decision making. The program's evaluation demonstrated a 22% improvement in 30-day survival rates for remote and rural patients, which closed the mortality disparity that had previously existed between city and country hospitals.

    Cardiovascular health in remote and rural communities.

    Indigenous NSW: Findings from the 2016 census

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander(ATSI)peoples continue to experience worse outcomes across a range of indicators compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. According to the Australian National University's Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, this divergence in areas such as income are an ongoing consequence of historic violence, dispossession and other forms of colonial domination faced by ATSI people.

    This paper uses the latest 2016 Census figures to provide a snapshot of how the ATSI peoples of NSW compare with non-Indigenous residents across a range of key indicators, including population, age, education, income and employment. The paper also provides a comparative analysis of these indicators over three Censuses (2006, 2011 and 2016) for both NSW as a whole and for three custom NSW regions that incorporate different State Electorates based on their location. These geographies were selected to not only to provide an indication as to how location affects the wellbeing of the State's Indigenous peoples, but to also help Members of the NSW Parliament gain greater insight into the Indigenous peoples residing in or around their electorates.

    Indigenous NSW: Findings from the 2016 census.

    Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 [AIHW]

    Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 quantifies the health impact that alcohol and illicit drug use place on Australia, including as risk factors for other diseases and injuries. It estimates that alcohol and illicit drugs were collectively responsible for 6.7% of Australia's disease burden in 2011.

    The report highlights that health inequalities exist, with lower socioeconomic groups and more remote areas generally experiencing higher rates of disease burden due to alcohol and illicit drug use.

    * Nearly 1 in every 20 deaths in 2011 were from alcohol and illicit drug use, equating to 6,660 deaths.
    * 6.7% of all disease burden in Australia was from alcohol and illicit drug use in 2011 (9% for males and 4% for females).
    * 4.6% of all disease burden in Australia was from alcohol use alone, of which one-third was due to alcohol dependence.
    * On its own, illicit drug use was responsible for 2.3% of Australia's disease burden.
    * 41% of the illicit drug use burden was from opioids, followed by amphetamines (18%), cocaine (8%) and cannabis (7%).
    * Alcohol use was responsible for around one-third of the burden of road traffic injuries.
    * The rate of burden from alcohol use fell slightly between 2003 and 2011 and further reductions are expected by 2020.
    * The rate of burden due to amphetamine use is projected to rise by 14% between 2011 and 2020.

    Download report: Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011

    Media release:1 in 20 Australian deaths caused by alcohol and illicit drugs.

    New guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality

    Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, has launched the updated third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The guide is a practical resource intended for all health professionals delivering primary healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    This edition:

    • equips primary healthcare providers and their teams with a comprehensive and concise set of recommendations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, with additional information about tailoring advice depending on risk and need
    • advises on activities that can help prevent disease, detect early and unrecognised disease, and promote health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, while allowing for local and regional variations.
    • encourages clinicians to consider the social determinants of health when providing preventive healthcare
    • Includes the following new topics and features:
      • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
      • Preventing child maltreatment – supporting families to optimise child safety and wellbeing
      • Family abuse and violence
      • Prevention of lung cancer
      • Young person lifecycle summary wall chart

    National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Closing the Gap Report 2018

    The Closing the Gap framework was established in 2008 to address Indigenous disadvantage. 10 years on, the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have improved but more gains need to be made. It is clear that continued effort and action is required.

     

    The Closing the Gap framework provides an annual national snapshot of progress made against the targets – and helps maintain our collective focus. While acknowledging this, it is important to recognise the success and achievements of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, demonstrating that when equal opportunities are provided, disadvantage can be overcome.

     

    The chapters in this report detail the progress made against the seven Closing the Gap targets – and focus on health, education, employment and community safety. They also showcase a range of Indigenous success stories – from inspiring individuals, to growing businesses and organisations making a positive difference to their communities.

     

    Closing the Gap Report 2018.

    Latest nutrition review confirms that community control is critical to improve the nutritional status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has published a new Review of nutrition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It provides detailed information on food, diet and nutritional health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and includes data for diet-related conditions, morbidity, mortality and burden of disease.

    This review highlights the importance of nutrition promotion and the prevention of diet-related disease, and provides information on relevant programs, services, policies and strategies that help improve food supply, diet and nutritional health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Media release

    Review of nutrition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    Review as PDF

    NATSIHWA encourages using a ‘Scope of Practice’ for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners

    The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association (NATSIHWA) has launched a supportive publication, the National Framework for Determining Scope of Practice for the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Worker and Health Practitioner workforce. The Framework is designed to support Employers and Managers to work with their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners to establish and define their scope of practice.

    Ms Josslyn Tully, Chairperson of NATSIHWA said 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners are vital to improving the health of our peoples. The Framework for developing a Scope of Practice will better enable and support these employees in health services to reach their potential and utilise their skills and capabilities.