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Friday, 28 September 2012

Clinical Practice Points on managing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children and adolescents (NHMRC)

Clinical Practice Points on managing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) symptoms in children and adolescents provides guidance to health professionals to appropriately assess, diagnose and manage ADHD symptoms in children and young people. The aim of the document is to provide clarity to clinicians on one of the most controversial areas in ADHD - the use of medication, in particular stimulants, in managing children and adolescents with ADHD symptoms. The CPPs (Clinical Practice Points) also discuss psychological and educational strategies as other management options for some children/adolescents.

The CPPs will be most useful for GPs, paediatricians (including paediatric neurologists), child/adolescent psychiatrists, clinical and neuro-psychologists, allied health professionals and special educators who are working with children and adolescents with ADHD.

The CPPs stress the importance of looking for alternative explanations for the child's behaviour, and encourage clinicians to involve parents, carers and teachers in the assessment, management and review of each child/adolescent.

Emergency department care (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2011-12: emergency department care

In 2011-12: - there were more than 6.5 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments - 72% of patients received treatment within an appropriate time for their urgency (triage) category - almost two-thirds of patients stayed in the emergency department for 4 hours or less, and 90% had left within 8 hours and 30 minutes.

The National Emergency Access Target aim is that, by 31 December 2015, 90% of emergency department visits will be completed in 4 hours or less-from arrival, to when they went home or were admitted to the hospital.

Media release

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Dementia in Australia (AIHW)

Dementia in Australia

In 2011, there were an estimated 298,000 people with dementia. This number is expected to increase markedly over time, with projections suggesting it will reach around 400,000 by 2020 and 900,000 by 2050. Dementia is a leading cause of death, accounting for 6% of all deaths in 2010. Total direct health and aged care services expenditure on people with dementia was at least $4.9 billion in 2009-10.

Media release

Health expenditure Australia 2010-11 (AIHW)

Health expenditure Australia 2010-11

Expenditure on health in Australia was estimated to be $130.3 billion in 2010-11, up from $77.5 billion in 2000-01. This expenditure was 9.3% of gross domestic product in 2010-11, down from 9.4% in 2009-10 but up from 8.2% in 2000-01. The estimated recurrent expenditure on health was $5,796 per person, and 69.1% was funded by governments, up from 67.7% in 2000-01. The two largest components of the increase in health expenditure were public hospital services, which grew by $2.2 billion in real terms, followed by medications ($2.1 billion).

Media release

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Gynaecological cancers in Australia (AIHW)

On average, 12 females are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer each day in Australia, but survival prospects are improving, according to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and Cancer Australia.

Gynaecological cancers in Australia: an overview, provides a comprehensive picture of gynaecological cancer in Australia including how gynaecological cancer rates differ by geographical area, socioeconomic status, Indigenous status and country of birth.

Uterine cancer was the most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancer in 2008 (2,016 cases), followed by ovarian cancer (1,272) and cervical cancer (778).

"A total of 4,534 new gynaecological cancers were diagnosed in Australia in 2008, accounting for over 9% of all new cancers in females," said AIHW spokesperson Anne Bech. "While the number of new cases of all gynaecological cancers increased between 1982 and 2008, the overall incidence rate fell by 12%," Ms Bech said.

The report shows that the five-year relative survival for ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers has improved over time and that Australian women diagnosed with these cancers have better survival prospects than women in many other countries. The five year relative survival varied for the individual cancer types-82% for uterine cancer, 72% for cervical cancer and 43% for ovarian cancer.

Media release

Monday, 24 September 2012

Sepsis Kills : Improving the Recognition and Management of Severe Infection and Sepsis Program

The joint Agency for Clinical Innovation and Clinical Excellence Commission Severe Infection and Sepsis Project is working to reduce preventable harm to patients through improved recognition and management of severe infection and sepsis in Emergency Departments and inpatient wards throughout NSW.

Key elements of the improvement initiative are:

*Recognition of risk factors, signs and symptoms of sepsis
*Resuscitation with rapid intravenous fluids and administration of antibiotics within the first hour of diagnosis of sepsis
*Referral to appropriate senior clinicians and teams and retrieval if appropriate

ICWIKI : Intensive care wiki

IC-Wiki is a platform which will hold evidence- & best practice -based intensive care practice information for clinicians. Over time IC-wiki will contain statewide guidelines as well as other quality guidelines to assist intensive care practice.

Practice recommendations contained in this Wiki reflect Australian intensive care practice and are not mandated NSW policy statements. All readers need to have significant clinical background to allow them to critically review the information in relation to the specific clinical circumstances of individual patients.

Focus on Rural Mental Health - Read FREE

The Australian Journal of Rural Health publishes articles in the field of rural health. It has recently made available a free online theme issue on aspects of rural mental health.


Focus on Mental Health

Mental health impact for adolescents living with prolonged drought

Mental health and well-being within rural communities: The Australian Rural Mental Health Study

Determinants of mental health and well-being in rural communities: Do we understand enough to influence planning and policy?

Improving the mental health of rural New South Wales communities facing drought and other adversities

Rapid change, climate adversity and the next "big dry" : Older farmers' mental health

Stress and anxiety associated with lack of access to maternity services for rural parturient women

Drought, drying and mental health: Lessons from recent experiences for future risk-lessening policies

Mental health and well-being in resident mine workers: Out of the fly-in fly-out box


Also available as a free online themed issue : Disasters

Friday, 21 September 2012

Suicide prevention program 'saving rural lives'

A home-grown suicide prevention program is successfully raising awareness in rural Australia, which still has higher levels of suicide than other parts of the country.

Community Response to Eliminating Suicide, known as CORES, was developed by members of a small community in Tasmania 12 years ago.

CORES leaders are training hundreds of medical students and community members in the basics of suicide prevention.

Suicide prevention program 'saving rural lives'(ABC News)

Salvos study reveals extent of alcohol abuse (Dubbo)

THE Salvation Army in Dubbo is urging people to seek help with alcohol abuse as part of an initiative to create more debate in the community on the issue.

New research by the Salvation Army in the lead-up to Alcohol Awareness Week has revealed 4.2 million people say they know families where they think children are not being properly cared for because of someone’s alcohol abuse.

Salvation Army Major Colin Young said in his 20 months living in Dubbo he had seen some of the families affected by alcohol abuse.

Salvos study reveals extent of alcohol abuse (Central Western Daily)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia (AIHW)

Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia: period estimates from 1982 to 2010 presents the latest national survival and prevalence statistics for cancers in Australia from 1982 to 2010. Five-year survival for all cancers combined increased from 47% in 1982-1987 to 66% in 2006-2010. The largest survival gains over this time were for prostate cancer, kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In 2006-2010, cancers with the highest survival were those of the testis, lip, prostate and thyroid, and melanoma of the skin. In comparison, pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma had the lowest survival.

Media release

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Your Brain Matters: Australia announces world-first health program to tackle dementia epidemic

International dementia expert Dr Serge Gauthier is in Australia to launch a world-first public brain health program to help cut soaring rates of dementia. It comes on the back of increasing evidence that looking after your brain, body and heart can help reduce your risk of developing dementia. A recent study found that if risk factors, including smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity, were reduced by 25 per cent, there would be three million fewer cases of Alzheimer's disease worldwide.

Alzheimer's Australia CEO Glenn Rees said the organisation's new brain health program, Your Brain Matters, is the first dementia risk reduction program in the world to be publicly funded. Your Brain Matters is a guide to keeping the brain healthy by looking after our mind, body and heart and is for people of all ages.

Your brain matters website

Targeting brain, body and heart for cognitive health and dementia prevention (Evidence paper and literature review)

Booklet : your brain matters

Brainy App (for IPhone, IPad and Android)

Addressing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Australia

This report by the National Indigenous Drug & Alcohol Committee contains an overview of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Australia,including the health and social impacts of alcohol use during pregnancy.

The report also contains recommendations to address the condition, which include:

*implementing broad ranging social marketing campaigns to raise awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and the risks to the fetus or baby if the mother consumes alcohol while pregnant and breastfeeding
*supporting health professionals and services through the development of national policy and clinical practice guidelines, as well asworkforce development and training.

New AIHW aged care reports

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released two new reports:

Aged care packages in the community 2010-11: a statistical overview

Aged care packages in the community 2010-11 describes the key characteristics of services and recipients and also looks at the distribution of services relative to the needs of the population. At 30 June 2011, there were 50, 900 recipients of care packages. About 1,200 providers delivered low-care packages, 500 delivered high-care packages and 340 providers delivered high-care specialised dementia packages.


Residential aged care in Australia 2010-11: a statistical overview

Residential aged care in Australia 2010-11 provides comprehensive statistical information on residential aged care facilities, their residents, admissions and separations, and residents' dependency levels. At 30 June 2011, there were nearly 185,500 residential aged care places, an increase of more than 2,600 places compared with 30 June 2010. More than 85,200 permanent residents (52%) had a recorded diagnosis of dementia at 30 June 2011. Other recorded health conditions included circulatory diseases (40,000 residents) and diseases of the musculoskeletal and connective tissue (29,400 residents).


Media release

Friday, 14 September 2012

Spotlight on rural mental health

FARMERS' mental health will be on the agenda at a national conference in Hamilton next week.

National Farmers Federation President Jock Laurie will talk on his experience of depression in rural communities at the National Centre for Farmer Health "Sowing the seeds for farmer health 2012" conference.

Spotlight on rural mental health - Weekly Times Now

The conference follows the successful inaugural conference in 2010, "Opening the gates on farmer health" [Proceedings available on website].

Calls for national approach to disabled institutional abuse

Australia's disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes says there needs to be a national approach to the abuse of disabled people in care.

Disability groups say physical and sexual abuse is rampant in the system. Mr Innes says he agrees there is not enough training for carers and there's a culture of cover-up.

He hass told AM it is a problem which could escalate if it is not tackled with the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3589138.htm

Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning, Australia 2008-09 (AIHW)

Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning, Australia 2008-09 is the seventh in a series on hospitalisations due to injury and poisoning in Australia, and covers the financial year 2008-09. A total of 412,985 injury cases required hospitalisation during the 12 months (239,345 males and 173,637 females). Overall rates of injury were higher among people aged 65 and over, and lower in children aged 0-14. The leading causes of hospitalised injury were unintentional falls (38% of cases), followed by transport accidents (14%).

Media release

Two other reports in the series have also been released :

Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning, Australia 2007-08
Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning, Australia 2006-07

Disability Rights Now : report to UN finds disabled Australians suffer many inequalities

Leading Disabled Persons Organisations in Australia have compiled Disability Rights Now!, a Shadow Report on Australia's implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The overall aim of the Shadow Report is to make recommendations to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The main focus of the Shadow Report will be reporting the extent to which Australia has implemented its obligations under the CRPD and to provide recommendations for future action by the Australian Government.

The report found most Australians with a disability are isolated, afraid of exploitation or violence or are living below the poverty line. Improving equality and non-discrimination laws, the ability to live independently, community involvement and protection from abuse and exploitation are some of its key recommendations.

Australian Human Rights Centre spokeswoman Rosemary Kayes said people with a disability were left behind and made to feel like second class citizens."The majority of people with a disability are experiencing isolation or loneliness, living in fear of violence or exploitation or are unemployed and living below the poverty line," Ms Kayes said in a statement.


Australia failing people with disabilities (ABC)

Inequality for people with disabilities (The Australian)

Indigenous Worker Wellbeing CD-Rom [and other resources]

The Indigenous Worker Wellbeing CD-Rom from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) was developed as part of the Indigenous Workers Resource Kit in a project undertaken to address knowledge gaps about the unique challenges and stressors encountered by Indigenous alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers.
See: http://nceta.flinders.edu.au/nceta/resource-kits/

This is the latest in a number of (mainly) free resources available from NCETA. See the full publications list at :
http://nceta.flinders.edu.au/nceta/publications-and-presentations/order-publications/

Healthy Lifestyle Workers Portal

An online portal to support Australia's Healthy Lifestyle Workers was launched this week by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.

Healthy Lifestyle Workers are employed across Australia as part of the Australian Government's Closing the gap - Indigenous chronic disease initiative. Healthy Lifestyle Workers strive to reduce preventable chronic disease in Indigenous communities through activities that target smoking, nutrition, alcohol and physical activity.

The online portal launched this week provides support for the important efforts of Australia's Healthy Lifestyle Workers. The portal compliments the existing resources that have been developed for Healthy Lifestyle Workers by the HealthInfoNet on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing, including the Healthy deadly and strong toolkit and guide.

Features of the portal that will be of immediate use to Workers include:

*downloadable copies of the toolkit and guide
*a full list of all the items included in the Healthy Lifestyle Workers resources pack
*key facts and resources relating to lifestyle factors; nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use
*key facts and resources relating to preventable chronic diseases; diabetes, heart health, kidney health and other chronic conditions.

Healthy Lifestyle Workers Portal

Thursday, 13 September 2012

World-first study on spiritual wellbeing and cancer

A University of Adelaide researcher is conducting a world-first study to further our understanding of how spiritual wellbeing affects quality of life for those affected by cancer. The study, being conducted for Cancer Council Australia, will seek to measure the importance of feelings such as hope, love, peace and forgiveness and their impact on patients' emotional and physical wellbeing - such as energy levels and pain - at different stages of the cancer journey.

Cancer patients, survivors, friends, family members, professional and informal carers and even those who have never been affected by cancer are sought to take part in an online questionnaire. Cancer Council Australia researcher Dr Hayley Whitford and Cancer Council Australia CEO Professor Ian Olver will analyse the information provided to determine which aspects of spiritual wellbeing, including the less acknowledged aspects such as appreciation and connectedness, are the most important in improving cancer patients' resilience and quality of life. Professor Olver says it's an important area of research for anyone coping with, or treating, cancer. Find out more and complete the questionnaire at: http://www.cancer.org.au/research/2020vision.html

HAPI : Health event awareness website

HAPI, Health Awareness Project Information is a very useful Australian site, but includes global information on health awareness events. Compiled by Bonnie Heim, a medical librarian, each month has a list of events around the world related to health.

While today, Thursday 13 January 2012 is R U OK? Day in Australia, did you know that it is also both National Celiac Disease Awareness Day as well as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, in the U.S.?

Later in September, we have such diverse events as :

15th - World Lymphoma Awareness Day
24th - World Retina Day
28th - World Rabies Day

Each date links to the sites responsible for events. You can also click on the PINTEREST button to go to posters and videos related to the weeks and days listed.

Australia's medical indemnity claims 2010-11 (AIHW)

Australia's medical indemnity claims 2010-11 looks at the number, nature and costs of public sector (excluding W.A.) and private sector medical indemnity claims. In 2010-11, there were more new claims in the public than the private sector (1,500 and 1,300 respectively) and similar numbers closed across the sectors (1,400 in the public sector and 1,450 in the private sector). About half of closed claims (53%) were for less than $10,000, compared with 41% settled for between $10,000 and $500,000, and 6% settled for $500,000 or more.

Media release

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Fixing the hole in Australia's heartland : solving the Outback crisis

Remote Australia is facing a crisis of disengagement, ineffective governance and national indifference that demands sweeping changes to the way outback communities are consulted, treated and serviced, according to a new report.

Drawing on more than 3 years of research, Fixing the hole in Australia's heartland calls for the setting up of an Outback Commission with the mandate and authority to change the ''dynamic of under-development'' that afflicts remote Australia.

''Unless major changes are made to governance, policies and infrastructure and service delivery practices, there will be dire economic, social, cultural, environmental and security consequences for Australia as a whole, '' warns Fred Chaney, the chairman of the body that commissioned the report, Desert Knowledge Australia.

Written by Dr Bruce Walker, Dr Douglas Porter and Professor Ian Marsh, the report highlights a range of the concerns of those who live in remote areas, including:

* A sense of disempowerment at perceived institutional indifference that asserts itself in services that do not meet local needs or reflect local circumstances.
* Frustration that a ''one-size-fits-all'' approach to funding inhibits capacity to shape and deliver policy that meets the diverse needs.
* An inability to effectively engage with governments in identifying and dealing with problems.
* A failure to offer public servants incentives to work in remote Australia that has resulted in high turnover of staff and little retention of accumulated knowledge.
* A lack of transparency and accountability that inhibits the development of realistic and effective programs that address local needs.
* The absence of a strategy, or even a considered development framework, for regional Australia, despite many attempts at developing one.


Push for Commission to solve Outback crisis (Central Western Daily)

ABC News coverage

Spirituality, Older Australians and Wellbeing

This free open access article in a recent issue of Australasian Journal on Ageing examines the impact of perceived importance of spirituality or religion (ISR) and religious service attendance (RSA) on health and well-being in older Australians. The article concludes that spirituality and/or religion is still considered to be important to many older Australian adults. In addition, spirituality and attendance at religious services has a beneficial impact on older Australians' perceptions of social support, which may enable them to better cope with multiple comorbidities.

Read the full article here or go to the Australasian Journal on Ageing and browse all the open access articles. Sample topics available include : the care of older people during & after disasters, Which aged care patients are potentially suitable for community-bases aged care ? ; The KICA (Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment ) screen; Evidence-based continence assessment tools for residential aged care ; the EDEN Model in aged care ..... several more

Simulated education online : nursing procedures modules

The Australian Nursing Federation's recently launched Simulated Education Online program has proved extremely popular with the website inundated with registrations to access the 32 training modules.

The modules cover a very wide range of nursing procedures including arterial lines, ECGs, suture removal, urinary catherisation, pap & cervical smears, vital signs, injections and several more.

ANF federal education officer Jodie Davis said "Each module teaches a different procedure through an interactive simulation, accompanied by a step-by-step text with hyperlinks, a video demonstration, a 3D model of the anatomy encountered during the procedure and a quiz." Ms Davis said the website was 3 years in the making and was ideal for rural and remote nurses and also for any nurse who wanted to add to their training outside the workplace.

The Modules cost $10 each for ANF, NSWNA and QNU members and are $15 for non-members.

Risk factor trends: age patterns in key health risk factors over time (AIHW)

This report presents comparisons over time for different age groups for key health risk factors, including overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

The good news is that smoking rates have declined, particularly among younger people. However, overweight/obesity rates have increased for virtually all age groups, especially females aged 12 to 44.

Media release

Friday, 7 September 2012

New name to welcome domestic violence victims (Broken Hill)

It's hoped renaming a far west domestic violence centre will help more people feel more comfortable in asking for help.

The Broken Hill Aboriginal Family Violence Protection Legal Service is changing its name to Warra Warra Legal Service next week.

The name means 'side by side' in the traditional language, Paakantyi.

Culturally appropriate screening tool for Aboriginal Australians (mental health)

A screening tool assessing Indigenous mental health is being validated and will be ready for distribution across the country this year.

The Here and now Aboriginal assessment screening tool (HANAA) has been developed by the UWA Community, Culture and Mental Health unit in close consultation with Aboriginal people.

Project co-ordinator and UWA Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences Assistant Professor Zaza Lyons says mental health is a neglected area of Aboriginal health.

Study looks at suicide in rural communities

A joint research project involving Newcastle University academics and health officials has debunked the stereotype of farmers not seeking help before committing suicide.

The three-year study is looking at the influences on farmer suicide in Queensland and New South Wales.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-07/study-looks-at-suicide-in-rural-communities/4248174

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Parents with mental illness ashamed to ask for help (SANE Australia)

A new study by the national mental health charity SANE Australia, reveals many parents with a mental illness raising children lack support from health professionals and school staff, and they feel ashamed to ask for help.

SANE Australia's study found that only (31%) of survey respondents have told their child’s school they have a mental illness and half of these found the disclosure unhelpful, leading to stigmatising by other parents and, in some cases, bullying of their child.


Treatment laws for mentally ill debated

The killings of Nick and Chloe Waterlow at the hands of a mentally ill family member who had refused treatment have sparked a parliamentary inquiry into the adequacy of the state's psychiatric laws.

Anthony Waterlow was found not guilty of the murder of his father, a prominent Sydney curator and arts educator, and sister on the grounds of mental illness, after stabbing them both during a psychotic episode in 2009.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Free articles on nursing turnover & nursing research methodology

The Journal of Advanced Nursing has created TWO virtual issues *

#1 Should I stay or Should I go? Reviewing the Evidence on Nurses' turnover

Health workforce stability can contribute to better care delivery, and health organisations incur costs every time a nurse leaves their employment. Policy makers need a firm grasp of what makes nurses want to nurse, even in challenging circumstances, and what will retain and motivate them.

This edition highlights the range of evidence that emerges from papers on nurse turnover published in JAN, reports on what makes the profession tick, and gives policy pointers.

#2 Methodology

This collection of papers shows some of the challenges faced by researchers and the ways in which they have addressed them, in the evolving world of research.

* All articles freely available until 31 December 2012

Domestic violence toolkit launched

Far west women are being encouraged to take advantage of a toolkit aimed at reducing domestic violence.

The kit is designed to encourage regional communities to discuss issues around violence in the home and has been developed with 50-thousand dollars from the Federal Government.

The President of the of the National Rural Women's Coalition of Australia, Darreia Turley, said it has 15 fact sheets about preventing domestic violence.

ABC Report

The kit is available for download here

2012 Rural Health & Research Congress

Wagga Wagga plays host to the 2012 Rural Health & Research Congress on 5th - 7th November 2012.

A wide range of sessions cover such topics as rural health research, building a sustainable rural health workforce, primary health care, clinical improvement in rural health settings and the use of technology in health care

Registration and conference details

Free DVDs from the Rural Health Education Foundation

The Rural Health Education Foundation has recently made available more DVDs for free distribution. The latest releases are :

1205. Taking stock : the health hazards of farming
Farmers in Australia face significant health and occupational hazards. .Farm children are also at higher risk of accident and injury and all farming families are exposed to farm-specific risks such as pesticides and a range of zoonotic diseases. It has also become clear that many people in farming communities suffer unrecognized mental health conditions, especially depression and anxiety states. In addition to the DVD, A 6-hour Active Learning Module is available through the Rural Health Education Foundation

FC501. Optimising patient fertility
Health professionals play a key role in consumer awareness and initiating discussion around planning to have a child or more children, promoting preconception planning and supporting positive behavioural change.

1201. Eat strong : good food for health
Showcases health promotion and community development programs in rural and remote Australia that aim to improve health and nutrition in Indigenous communities. Itdiscusses the issues with Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, Director of the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit and Anthea Fawcett, Founder and Director of the Remote Indigenous Gardens Network.

1112. The patient's choice : quality at end of life care.
This DVD explores the issues involved in end of life care. It looks at the need for the patient to have accurate information and a specific assessment of their situation; it examines the use of advance care plans; and explores the latest developments in palliative and end of life care.

Either order online, or complete the order form.