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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Key references

References for the key publications about ear health and hearing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are listed here.

2013

DiGiacomo M, Davidson PM, Abbott P, Delaney P, Dharmendra T, McGrath SJ, Delaney J, Vincent F (2013)

Childhood disability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: a literature review.

International Journal for Equity in Health; 12: 7

Retrieved 18 January 2013 from http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-9276-12-7

This article is the result of a narrative literature review which was undertaken to identify peer reviewed literature describing factors impacting on the prevention, recognition, and access to support and management of disability in Indigenous Australian children.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

2012

Audiology Australia (2012)

Chronic Otitis Media and Hearing Loss Practice (COMHeLP): a manual for audiological practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Melbourne: Audiology Australia

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

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (2012)

National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: second edition.

South Melbourne: Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

The National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: second edition provides an up-to-date, evidence-based national resource created to help all health professionals delivering primary health care to Indigenous people. The use of this guide may help to prevent disease, detect early and unrecognised disease, and promote health. This guide contains Indigenous-specific information on:

  • lifestyle factors (including smoking, overweight/obesity, physical activity, and alcohol)
  • health among specific populations (child health, adolescent health, and the health of older people)
  • chronic conditions (cardiovascular health, rheumatic heart disease, respiratory health, kidney health, diabetes, and cancer)
  • infections conditions (sexual health and bloodborne viruses)
  • other health conditions (oral health, eye health, ear health, and mental health).

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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

Thomson N, Burns J, McLoughlin N (2012)

The impact of health on the education of Indigenous children.

In: Beresford Q, Partington G, Gower G, eds. Reform and resistance in Aboriginal education: fully revised edition. Revised ed. Perth, WA: UWA Publishing: 202-234

The revised edition of Reform and resistance in Aboriginal education reflects on the challenges and achievements that have occurred for both teachers and students in this significant area of education since the book's original release in 2003. The chapter, The impact of health on the education of Indigenous children, reviews the specific health issues currently affecting Indigenous children, and how these issues impact on their education. The chapter provides a summary of key indicators of Indigenous health status.

Prevalent issues and indicators discussed include:

  • infant mortality and birthweight status
  • nutrition
  • substance use
  • anaemia
  • ear disease and hearing loss
  • infectious diseases
  • eye conditions
  • oral health
  • injuries
  • social and emotional wellbeing.

Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Vanderpoll T, Howard D (2012)

Massive prevalence of hearing loss among Aboriginal inmates in the Northern Territory.

Indigenous Law Bulletin; 7(28): 3-7

2011

Government of Australia (2011)

Response to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee report: Hear Us: Inquiry into hearing health in Australia.

Canberra: Parliament of Australia

Howard D, Fasoli L, McLaren S, Wunungmurra A (2011)

Dangerous listening: the exposure of Indigenous people to excessive noise.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 35(1): 3-8

Aboriginal Health Worker ear and hearing health care training manual 2010 (2011)

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

The training of health workers for ear health and screening is one action of the Australian Government's Improving eye and ear health services for Indigenous Australians for better education and employment outcomes measure. This manual is provided to all Aboriginal Health Workers (AHW) located in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and Aboriginal Medical Services that are delivering ear and hearing health programs and has been developed to combine with ear and hearing equipment training. It is relevant for the treatment of Aboriginal children and adolescents under 21 years of age and updates a 2010 edition.

The manual covers the following key areas:

  • ear structure and functions
  • Aboriginal hearing health and assessment
  • primary hearing health care and the AHW role
  • ear and hearing health equipment
  • clinical features of otitis media
  • interpreting tympanometry.

Abstract adapted from Aboriginal Health Worker ear and hearing health care training manual 2010

2010

Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association (2010)

CARPA standard treatment manual [5th ed.].

5th ed. Alice Springs: Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association

This manual assists practitioners to manage a range of health, social and work conditions when they arrive in Central and Northern Australia without any specific training in remote practice.

The manual topics include:

  • Emergency and assessment
    • patterns of abdominal pain
    • burns
    • chest (breathing) injuries
  • Child health
    • dental and oral problems
    • ear and hearing problems
    • chronic suppuratives lung disease
  • Mental health and drug problems
    • mental health assessment
    • suicide risk
    • alcohol and other drugs
  • Chronic disease
    • assessing and reducing cardiovascular risk
    • diabetes
    • heart failure
  • Sexual health
    • HIV/AIDS
    • sexually transmitted infections in men
  • General topics
    • eye problems
    • rheumatic fever and heart disease
    • hepatitis.

This resource ensures a sensitive and comprehensive approach to primary health care for Aboriginal peoples in the Northern Territory and beyond. Access to the manual requires registration which is free.

Abstract adapted from Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association

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

Senate Community Affairs References Committee (2010)

Hear us: inquiry into hearing health in Australia.

Canberra: Parliament of Australia: Senate

2009

Burrow S, Galloway A, Weissofner N (2009)

Review of educational and other approaches to hearing loss among Indigenous people.

Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin; 9(2):

2008

Coates H, Vijayasekaran S, Mackendrick A, Leidwinger L (2008)

Aboriginal ear health manual [1st edition].

Perth, WA:

This manual provides information on the anatomy and function of the ear and preventive measures for ear problems. It details causes, types and effects of hearing loss together with common ear conditions. Diagrams and images are used to describe how to examine ears and algorithms for treatment strategies are provided.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Couzos S, Metcalf S, Murray R (2008)

Ear health.

In: Couzos S, Murray R, eds. Aboriginal primary health care: an evidence-based approach. 3rd ed. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press: 308-354

 
Last updated: 27 June 2014
 
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