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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places



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(


Hendrickx D, Stephen A, Lehmann D, Silva D, Boelaert M, Carapetis J, Walker R (2016)

A systematic review of the evidence that swimming pools improve health and wellbeing in remote Aboriginal communities in Australia.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health; 40(1): 30-36

Leach AJ, Wigger C, Beissbarth J, Woltring D, Andrews R, Chatfield MD, Smith-Vaughan H, Morris PS (2016)

General health, otitis media, nasopharyngeal carriage and middle ear microbiology in Northern Territory Aboriginal children vaccinated during consecutive periods of 10-valent or 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.

International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology; 86: 224-232

Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia (2016)

The Photovoice Project: remote Aboriginal pool research.

Perth: Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia

This report formally evaluates the Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool (RASP) program run by the Royal Life Saving Society WA in Western Australia (WA). The RASP is a long-term remote pool management program that funds aquatic facilities, activities and staff in six communities in the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley regions. Using school attendance and pool data, as well yarning and photovoice processes, the evaluation sought to answer these questions:

  • How does having a swimming pool impact on the wellbeing (health and social) of remote Aboriginal communities?
  • What barriers exist to pool use across all age groups in the community and how can they be addressed?
  • Does the school-pool reward system and the use of the pool by the school help young people to overcome barriers to school attendance?
  • Do children and young people who often miss out on school still make use of the swimming pool and derive benefits?

The results of the evaluation provide justification for the expansion of the RASP program into more Aboriginal communities in WA.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Menzies R, Andrews R (2014)

Immunisation issues for Indigenous Australian children.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health; 50(10): E21–E25


Abbott P, Menzies R, Davison J, Moore L, Wang H (2013)

Improving immunisation timeliness in Aboriginal children through personalised calendars.

BMC Public Health; 13: 598

Retrieved 20 June 2013 from

Chiu C, McIntyre P (2013)

Pneumococcal vaccines – past, present and future.

Australian Prescriber; 36(3): 88-93

Cultural & Indigenous Research Centre Australia (2013)

Evaluation of the National Indigenous Ear Health Campaign: final report.

Canberra: Care for Kids’ Ears

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


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

Leach A (2012)

Using pneumococcal vaccines (Prevenar13 & Synflorix) in combination for maximum protection from ear infections: Prev-Ix_Combo.

The Chronicle; 23(1): 24-25

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
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