Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Share by Email

Skip to content

Key resources

  • Bibliography
  • Health promotion
    Health promotion
  • Health practice
    Health practice
  • Programs
  • Conferences
  • Courses
  • Funding
  • Jobs
  • Organisations
  • Health Services MapHealth Services Map
Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places



Jacups SP, Newman D, Dean D, Richards A, McConnon KM (2017)

An innovative approach to improve ear, nose and throat surgical access for remote living Cape York Indigenous children.

International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology; 100: 225-231

Sibthorpe B, Agostino J, Coates H, Weeks S, Lehmann D, Wood M, Lannigan F, McAullay D (2017)

Indicators for continuous quality improvement for otitis media in primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; Online early(


Reeve C, Thomas A, Mossenson A, Reeve D, Davis S (2014)

Evaluation of an ear health pathway in remote communities: improvements in ear health access.

Australian Journal of Rural Health; 22(3): 127-132


McDonald E (2013)

Evaluation of implementation of best practice models of care based on the updated recommendations for clinical care guidelines on the management of otitis media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Darwin: Menzies School of Health Research

This report evaluates the Otitis media guidelines program, which aimed to enhance the capacity of general practitioners and other primary health care providers to provide high quality treatment for otitis media (OM) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The project was implemented from June 2012, for 12 months within eight sites, located in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The aims and objectives of the program were to:

  • increase awareness of the updated recommendations for clincial care guidelines on the management of otitis media in Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander populations
  • improve the uptake of best practice service delivery for the prevention, early detection and management of OM in Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander children
  • increase diagnosis and appropriate referral of OM in Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander children aged 0-4 years.

Key points identified by the evaluation include:

  • The needs identified by services to integrate guideline use into their practices varied and it was important that services had the opportunity to identify their own specific needs.
  • Flexibility in planning the implementation of programs at the local level was essential and that no one plan would be suitable for all.
  • Ongoing practical training in clinical detection and management of OM is needed across the agencies in order to meet the necessary demand and staff turnover issues.
  • The success in embedding the recommendations of the guidelines into practice in many services was often the result of leadership from practice management and the motivation, initiative and energy and other personal qualities of the practice nurses (or equivalent) employed by each of the service.
  • The collaborative care model is seen as flexible and best able to meet the needs of disadvantaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with OM. This model promotes that health service providers from different professions and agencies provide comprehensive services by working with people, their families, care providers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Stephen ATN, Leach AJ, Morris PS (2013)

Impact of swimming on chronic suppurative otitis media in Aboriginal children: a randomised controlled trial.

Medical Journal of Australia; 199(1): 51-55


Aithal S, Aithal V, KeiJ, Driscoll C (2012)

Conductive hearing loss and middle ear pathology in young infants referred through a newborn universal hearing screening program in Australia.

Journal of the American Academy of Audiology; 23(9): 673-685

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012)

Northern Territory emergency response child health check initiative - follow-up services for oral and ear health: final report 2007-2012.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report is the final in a series of seven reports on the dental, audiology and ear, nose and throat (ENT) services funded by the Australian Government under the Northern Territory emergency response child health check initiative (NTER CHCI) and the Closing the gap in the Northern Territory national partnership agreement (CtG NT). Although open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under 16 years living in prescribed communities, these programs specifically targeted those who received referrals from their Child health check (CHC).

Based on the data collected, this report provides information on the extent of services provided, and the oral, ear and hearing health of children who received these services. The information in this report relates to dental and audiology services provided from August 2007 to 30 June 2012, and funded ENT consultations provided from August 2007 to December 2010 and ENT surgeries performed from 1 July 2009 to 31 December 2010.

The report was produced jointly by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Abstract adapted from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Frederiksen J (2012)

A model of ear and hearing care in remote Northern Territory.

The Chronicle; 24(4): 19-21

Hill S (2012)

Ear disease in Indigenous Australians: a literature review.

Australian Medical Student Journal; 3(1): 45-49

Huntley P, Woods B, Rudge S (2012)

Healthy Ears, Happy Kids: a new approach to Aboriginal child ear health in NSW.

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin; 23(4): 60-61

Sanchez L, Carney S, Estermann A, Sparrow K, Turner D (2012)

An evaluation of the benefits of swimming pools for the hearing and ear health status of young Indigenous Australians: a whole-of-population study across multiple remote Indigenous communities.

Adelaide: School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University

This document reports on a study to investigate whether the use of swimming pools by school-age Indigenous children in remote semi-arid communities in central Australia results in the reduction and possible prevention of conductive hearing loss related to otitis media (OM) in these children.

Between 2009 - 2011, multiple clinical assessments of ear health and hearing - including Ear, nose and throat (ENT) diagnoses - were conducted on 813 school age children, which allow comparison of the results for children living in the four Anangu communities with a swimming pool compared to those living in the six communities without a pool. Many children were assessed on multiple occasions with 46% of the children being assessed on at least three of the possible six occasions over the three year study period (2107 child assessments in total).

The study's results demonstrate that access to swimming pools does not result in improvement in any of three principal measured indices of hearing or ear health. Additionally, in relation to the policy of 'no school, no pool', there is no evidence that access to a swimming pool results in improved school attendance. Further, results show previously undescribed seasonal differences in the prevalence of eardrum perforations in these Indigenous populations. Other results show significant associations between dry eardrum perforation and hearing loss and age.

This research report was funded by the Hearing Loss Prevention Program of the Department of Health and Ageing and conducted by Flinders University and its collaborating partner, the Anangu Education Service of the South Australian (SA) Department of Education and Child Development.

Abstract adapted from Flinders University

Simmons K, Rotumah V, Cookson M, Grigg D (2012)

Child hearing health coordinators tackle ear and hearing health in the NT.

The Chronicle; 23(1): 22-23

Last updated: 28 September 2017
Return to top
general box


Share your information » Give us feedback » Sign our guestbook »