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.

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