a) Outline how epidemiological data can be used to improve the health status of Australians. Epidemiology is the study of disease in groups or populations through the collection of data, research and information to identify patterns and causes. Mortality, Infant morbidity, life expectancy and morbidity are all measures of epidemiology that assist in identifying trends of health. Epidemiology Research provides statistics on the current health of Australian, making it easy to compare trends to outline whether there is a decline or increase within a specific area. For example, If there is a high rate of infant mortality, health authorities may need to evaluate strategies and allocate more effective facilities in order to decrease the rates. Therefore epidemiology is essential in improving the health status of Australians as it compares research, identifies trends, heath needs and behaviors.
b) Examine the nature and extent of injury in Australia.
Injuries are often a key focus for Governments and Health Authorities as many injuries are preventable. Inevitably, with injury follows an economic, social and physical burden for the individual and community. There is a wide variation for the nature of injury, some of which include; transport-related, self-inflicted, sport-related, industry-related, residential injuries as a result of falls, drowning’s, poisonings, burns and scalds and more. Injury also accounts for a substantial influence on the Australian health status, a staggering 47% of deaths are injury-related for both males and females between 1-44 years of age. It is also a major cause of hospital admissions; the figures for hospitalizations for injury in 2009 were 400,000 people. However, a significant majority of injury can be prevented, for example, the highest cause of injury for both sexes are falls, which can be easily avoided if the correct precautions and protective behaviors. Death from intentional injuries are steadily increasing, but deaths from unintentional injuries are declining, this is potentially due to better Workplace Health and Safety schemes, more advanced education and the Injury Prevention and Control strategy (2000-2004) which was implied by the World Health Organization.
c) Investigate how sociocultural and socioeconomic factors can increase the incidence of injury for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. There are many contrasts between the health of an Australian, to that of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) individual. Many sociocultural and socioeconomic influences have a significant impact on their inequalities in their lifestyle. Injury hospitalized rates are higher for indigenous children compared to non-indigenous children, which sets them up for living a life more prone to injuries.
Sociocultural factors that relate to the contribution of incidence of ATSI people are media and culture and religion. Media is significant in terms of how much they lack exposure. As 25% of ATSI people live in remote areas and 45% in regional areas, they are not as heavily involved and exposed to media as what an urban area would be. However, this has been a priority area for the government and is acting upon it by exposing laws through media that relate to road use, which has helped in reducing rates from traffic accidents. Their religion is another influential element that adds to their incidence of injury, as it is a plateau for learning more about injuries. The Dreaming is not just a religion, but a way of life, and as non-indigenous people try to assist in lowering injury levels, they could choose to ignore health warnings as it would be foreign to them and might contradict their beliefs. Culture is also a factor that affects ATSI people as it contributes to their language, which is a barrier. Language contributes greatly to rates of injury, as it is a barrier for understanding and learning...