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The ESSENCE project is a long-term strategy to improve cardiovascular health outcomes for Indigenous Australians, spearheaded by Professor Alex Brown of SAHMRI. The first phase of the project, which has been completed, involved the development of 61 Indigenous cardiovascular service standards; the second phase of the project (ESSENCE II) involves work towards an implementation plan for these standards.
First phase (ESSENCE)
In this phase of the project, 61 Essential service standards for equitable national cardiovascular care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were developed by Professor Brown, Professor Garry Jennings, and a national steering committee of experts in Indigenous cardiovascular care, under an Australian Government Department of Health contract, in 2011/2012. The standards were endorsed by the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and the National Heart Foundation and can be accessed under 'related publications', below.
The standards represent the best available evidence and expert consensus on the essential services for Indigenous people with cardiovascular disease across the entire continuum of care. The standards address five cardiovascular conditions: coronary heart disease, chronic heart failure, stroke, rheumatic heart disease and hypertension.
Second phase (ESSENCE II)
ESSENCE II, the next phase of this long-term project, considers how to make certain aspects of the standards implementable across Australia. The Australian Government has provided funding for researchers to develop:
ESSENCE II is overseen by staff based at the Wardliparingga Unit at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).
A related national project, Better cardiac care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is supported by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council. There is some overlap between the ESSENCE standards and the set of measures developed for the Better cardiac care project.
Abstract adapted from South Australian Health Medical Research Institute
Essential service standards for equitable national cardiovascular care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (ESSENCE)
Senior Research Translation Manager
Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
PO Box 11060
Adelaide SA 5001
Ph: (08) 8128 4228
This booklet of standards was developed to represent the best available evidence and expert consensus on the essential services and care required for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cardiovascular disease. The standards set out what elements of care are necessary to reduce disparity in access and outcomes for the following critical cardiovascular conditions:
These standards are intended to be implemented across health services nationwide.
Adapted from Primary Health Care Research & Information Service