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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Publications

2013

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

2012

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

2011

Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (2011)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult health checks made easy.

Adelaide: Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia

This manual was designed to support Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) who perform health checks in South Australia for Aboriginal people with chronic diseases.

It was developed to increase the number of health checks being performed, help AHWs while performing adult health checks, and increase the number of community members who will benefit from these checks.

It includes information on:

  • Medicare item 715 - Aboriginal health checks
  • pre-check and medical history
  • examination of patient
  • investigations
  • assessment of patient
  • equipment required.

The resource was developed by the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia in collaboration with the South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and Flinders Far North Division of General Practice.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2011)

Ear and hearing health of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report presents data from the follow-up ear and hearing health services delivered through the Child health check initiative and the Closing the gap in the Northern Territory national partnership agreement. It details the ear and hearing status of the children who underwent the services and the audiology and ear, nose and throat services provided. The Australian Government-funded services were made available to children in prescribed areas of the Northern Territory from August 2007, the report provides information about the services delivered until May 2011.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

New South Wales Health Promotion Division (2011)

Aboriginal ear health program guidelines.

Sydney: New South Wales Ministry of Health

2010

Darwin Otitis Guidelines Group (2010)

Recommendations for clinical care guidelines on the management of otitis media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Darwin: Menzies School of Health Research

The updated Recommendations for clinical care guidelines on the management of otitis media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations builds on the 2001 guidelines using recent research and an explicit search and critical appraisal of the medical literature between 2001 and 2010. The original guidelines were directly linked to the Systematic review of existing evidence and primary care guidelines on the management of otitis media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

The guidelines are intended for use by health care professionals who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. This includes Aboriginal health workers, Aboriginal ear health workers, primary care and specialist physicians, nurses, remote nurses and nurse practitioners, audiologists, audiometrists, speech therapists, and child development specialists (including advisory visiting teachers and teachers of the deaf).

The clinical care guidelines are published by Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) and were prepared by the Darwin Otitis Guidelines Group in collaboration with the OATSIH Otitis Media Technical Advisory Group. They are designed to facilitate the delivery of comprehensive, effective and appropriate ear health programs.

The clinical care guidelines are divided into sections: prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, medical management, audiological management of associated hearing loss, practical considerations in health care delivery, and prioritisation of primary health care services in different settings. They aim to offer a series of clear recommendations for the clinical care of Indigenous Australians that are:

  • based on the best available evidence
  • acceptable to a multi-disciplinary expert panel experienced in this area
  • presented in plain language and algorithms.

The sources of information used include:

  • evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, evidence summaries and systematic reviews
  • high quality primary research on otitis media and hearing loss.

The following separate resources are also included:

  • what's new in the 2010 update of the clinical care guidelines - two page flyer
    • a brief summary of the new features of the guidelines and the research and review processes that went into the new edition
    • an outline of the aim, background, contents and use of the guidelines
  • practical treatment plans and prioritisation of primary health care services in different settings - four page brochure
    • a brief introduction to otitis media (OM) and the sources of information on which the guidelines are based
    • a summary of practical treatment plans for the management of childhood otitis media in populations at high risk of chronic otitis media (chronic suppuratives otitis media, CSOM)
    • a snap shot of health care service priorities when working with limited resources
  • clinical care algorithms - eight laminated A4 sized cards
    • algorithms graphing diagnosis and management of otitis media and hearing loss to assist with clinical care
  • pocket guide for the diagnosis and management of ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
    • includes photographic and written description of the symptoms, diagnostic and management notes
    • can be attached to a key ring or otoscope
  • key messages for primary health care providers - A3 sized poster
    • a 10 point list of actions to remember when working with Indigenous families to treat and prevent otitis media in Indigenous children.
The practical treatment plan, pocket guide and algorithms are colour coded according to the type of otitis media allowing for quick cross referencing between the resources. All separate resources are also included within the bound guideline book.

Abstract adapted from Recommendations for clinical care guidelines on the management of otitis media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations

Doyle J, Ristevski E (2010)

Less germs, less mucus, less snot: teachers' and health workers' perceptions of the benefits and barriers of ear health programs in lower primary school classes.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; 16(4): 352-359

Howard D (2010)

When talking fails: hearing loss and chronic disease.

Paper presented at the 14th Annual NT Chronic Diseases Network Conference. September 2010, Darwin

2009

Deadly Ears Program (2009)

Deadly ears, deadly kids, deadly communities: 2009-2013: making tracks to close the gap in ear health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Brisbane: Queensland Health

This report is part of the commitment from the Queensland Government to reduce the high levels of ear disease among Indigenous Queensland children and Close the gap in ear health.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Morrison H (2009)

Hearing booths out bush!.

The Chronicle; 15(4): 34

 
Last updated: 1 April 2014
 
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