How are priority issues for Australia’s health identified? * Measuring health status
* Role of epidemiology
The gathering of information to report on the health status of a specific population group. It reports on the patterns of disease, injury and illness considering: * Prevalence
* Determinants and indicators… cause of disease
* Measures of epidemiology
Mortality- A measure indicating how many people died in a particular population, how they died and over what period of time. Infant mortality- the number of infant deaths in the first year of life per 1000 live births Morbidity- the incidents or level of illness/sickness in a given population Life expectancy- a prediction indicating the number of years a person is likely to live * Critique the use of epidemiology to describe health status by considering questions such as * What can epidemiology tell us?
Provide data about morbidity and mortality rates, therefore the health status of a population including information about prevalence, incidence, distribution and potential causes of sickness and disease, known as indicators and determinants. Although it is useful it does not tell us everything. * Who uses these measures?
* International organisations- World Health Organisation (W.H.O) * Government- RTA, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), health budget. * NGO’s- Australian Drug Foundation
* Politicians- introducing legislation, e.g. pool fences around pools * Do they measure everything about health status?
No, epidemiological data looks at group data. Every person is an individual and each brings different qualities. * Identifying priority health issues.
* Social justice principals
It involves the establishment of supportive environments and the promotion of diversity. This applies equally to all Australians, so that all have the same opportunities to achieve and maintain optimum health. Four social justice principals;
* Participation- planning and making decisions about local and community health. * Equity- fair allocation of resources and entitlements without discrimination. * Access- the ability to use a range of health services.
* Rights- equal opportunity.
Plans to manage health inequalities are based on morbidity and mortality rates, trend data. Giving the community and individuals more control over health. * Priority population groups
In combination with the social justice principals it enables more insight to be gained concerning; * Existing health needs
* Ways of targeting health behaviours
* The impact of sociocultural, physical or economic environmental factors on health status * The prevalence of conditions and diseases within a particular population. * Prevalence of condition
Prevalence of a condition can be used to determine funding priorities. Data reflects improvements in some areas and indicates where greater concern should be focused on other areas. This determines how funds are allocated. * Potential for prevention and early intervention
A person can adopt a range of health behaviours aimed at prevention, such as not smoking, or participating in physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight range and eating a balanced diet. Screening, diagnosis, treatment, management and rehabilitation are all analysed. Gender differences have been identified as health behaviours. When considering these differences, two broad areas are relevant: psychosocial factors and help seeking behaviours. Area
| * Increase in some aggressive behaviours such as driving behaviour. * Increasingly involved in the full range of employment opportunities including high-risk occupations.
| * 17-25 year olds have a high sensation-seeking drive. * Traditionally, high numbers of men are employed in high-risk occupations.
| Help-seeking behaviours
| * Tendency to seek help...
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