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