Australian journal of public health (Aust J Publ Health )

Publisher: Public Health Association of Australia

Description

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  • Other titles
    Australian journal of public health
  • ISSN
    1035-7319
  • OCLC
    173363595
  • Material type
    Periodical
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):541-2.
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    ABSTRACT: In remote Far North Queensland, evacuation for mandatory hospital births saves lives. However, morbidity and mortality for mothers and infants remain high. Results from a retrospective study of deliveries over a one-year period showed significant differences in obstetric risk and outcomes among rural and urban Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Caucasian women. Choices of birth place for remote residents were severely limited but those women with education and knowledge about how the system worked utilised options alternative to the regional public hospital. The findings from both the retrospective hospital sample and interviews among remote-area residents of Far North Queensland confirm the need to develop community-based perinatal services to reduce cultural and social barriers to clinical care.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):580-8.
  • Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):547-8.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides a preliminary report on the work of the Canadian Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. This commission has spent the past four years undertaking a comprehensive review of all matters pertaining to indigenous people in Canada, and will publish a final report in late 1995 or early 1996. The paper provides an overview of health policy issues examined by the commission. The author was employed by the commission in various capacities to contribute to this analysis of indigenous people's health policy concerns. A disproportionate burden of illness has been suffered by indigenous peoples in Canada. Past policy has systematically undermined the capacity of indigenous communities to develop their own health care systems. Current concerns about health problems and services, as expressed by indigenous people at the commission's community hearings, describe a need for a community-controlled and culturally appropriate approach to healing in indigenous communities. The commission's framework for developing an indigenous people's health strategy is intended to ensure that indigenous people have the capacity, the resources and the appropriate political environment in which to implement community healing. Its relevance to the Australian context may best be seen through a careful review of the commission's final report.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):559-66.
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    ABSTRACT: Vietnamese-Australian women have infants with lower birth weight than Australian-born women. Traditional humoral food habits, based on ancient Chinese medicine, are more likely to be followed during life changes like pregnancy. These food habits may influence maternal energy intake, weight gain and therefore infant birth weight. This study determined the proportion of pregnant Vietnamese women in southwestern Sydney who practise traditional humoral food habits, and their effect on birth weight. A cohort of 113 pregnant Vietnamese-born women were questioned on smoking status, height, weight, parity, food practices and demographics. Dietary intake was measured in each trimester. Known risk factors and infant birth weights were collected from medical records for participants and nonresponders. Fifty-seven per cent practised the traditional food habits. There were no differences in energy intake or weight gain between the two groups. After adjusting for confounders, birth weight was estimated to be 3257 g (95 per cent confidence interval (CI) 3205 to 3309) and 3272 g (CI 3211 to 3333) for the infants of traditional and nontraditional women respectively. Following humoral food habits does not appear to affect birth weight. Women who choose to follow these traditions should not be discouraged from doing so.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):629-33.
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    ABSTRACT: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major health problem for Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal people, causing considerable morbidity and being implicated in the potential rapid transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This paper presents data in relation to STD contact tracing on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands. In-depth interviews were conducted with Aboriginal men and non-Aboriginal clinic staff to ascertain their attitudes to and perceptions of contact tracing. The interviews with Aboriginal men also sought more general information in relation to health-seeking behaviour and knowledge of STDs. While contact tracing has proven an effective method of case detection on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands (most named contacts are able to be located and a high proportion are found to be infected), the data suggest that important constraining issues are the reluctance of Aboriginal men to consult with particular health workers because of moiety group considerations, concerns about confidentiality, and the low level of knowledge of STDs, particularly of largely asymptomatic infections such as chlamydia, syphilis and HIV.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):596-602.
  • Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):543-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Primary prevention is consistently identified as a priority in mental health and Aboriginal health planning. In both areas it has proved to be elusive. Aboriginal mental health therefore presents substantial challenges, particularly in remote Australia. In this paper, two brief case histories are used to demonstrate the limits of conventional psychiatric engagement in such settings and explore the dimensions of social disadvantage that compound psychiatric vulnerability. There are difficulties of primary prevention in mental health generally, and access to mental health services for those most at risk, including indigenous Australians, is unacceptably poor. Proceeding to primary prevention in Aboriginal mental health will, of necessity, include rectifying that situation and addressing the social precursors of mental disorders and distress. Such initiatives will require wide and sustained commitment toward long-term goals, with a focus on children and families, and must include effective substance-abuse strategies.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):573-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Rapid population growth has put family planning on personal and political agendas in the Solomon Islands. With the release of a population policy in 1988, national leaders sanctioned the concept of family planning as a key strategy in reducing the rate of population growth. On a personal level, Solomon Islanders share their government's concern about population problems. There is a shortage of arable land, health services are stretched, and there are limited places in school for children. A study in Choiseul Province, a rural area in Solomon Islands, suggests that people want smaller families but have limited means to control their fertility. Meagre resources and infrastructure, compounded by geography, climate, culture and religion, constrain the development of family planning services.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):616-22.
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    ABSTRACT: The people of the Torres Strait suffer a disproportionate level of diet-related disease, especially diabetes. The Torres Strait Health Strategy identified the difficulty in obtaining healthy food, particularly fruit and vegetables, as a major problem for people living in the Torres Strait. This study examined traditional plant food supply systems and current local production of fruit and vegetables. The supply system of fruit and vegetables from mainland Australia was also examined. Traditional garden food production was seen to continue (mainly to provide food for ceremonial occasions), but had declined because of easy access to store foods, changes in the physical, social and economic environment, limited access to land and water, and quarantine restrictions on movement of garden produce. Supplies of fruit and vegetables from the Australian mainland were infrequent and the prolonged transit time meant that produce was often in poor condition on arrival and prone to continued rapid deterioration due to limited store-level storage facilities. Demand for fresh produce exceeded supply.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):589-95.
  • Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):634-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Food intake patterns of 545 adult Melbourne Chinese were studied in 1988 and 1989 using a 220-item food-frequency questionnaire appropriate for Chinese eating practices. Men and women were compared, adjusting for age, time in Australia and education. Men consumed more rice and alcoholic beverages as energy. In women, the energy intake was derived from foods of traditional Chinese types. There were two types of consumption patterns: in the first group were those who acculturated towards an Australian way of eating by replacing some traditional Chinese foods, such as rice, pork, leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, soups and tea, with 'new foods', such as wheat products, red meats and coffee; in the second were those who limited their intake to a handful of traditional Chinese foods as the major source of energy. The educated, the professional and those with an administrative profession, the Australian-born and those with a longer length of stay fitted into the first group, and were more acculturated towards Australia than those born in the People's Republic of China or Vietnam and who migrated at an older age. The first group may benefit from the best of both worlds, but may risk the diseases of an industrialised society. The second group may be trapped at a cultural crossroads and may be unable to make appropriate food choices. Public health efforts in Australia, where one in every five is overseas-born, should provide for nutrition and health education for new and aged migrants of non-European cultural backgrounds.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):623-8.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses and compares the systems for the delivery of health care services to indigenous peoples in the United States and Australia; both are poor minorities in wealthy countries and many live in remote locations. Three necessary conditions that have shaped the relative success of the Indian Health Service in the United States are relevant to the Australian situation: federal government administration; the separation of the Indian Health Service from other Indian affairs; and the provision of an integrated health service. Ironically, recent policy changes in the United States by the Clinton administration are reducing the federal bureaucracy, and along with it, Indian Health Service funding. In Australia, the states have had responsibility for service delivery to Aboriginal people, there have been no treaties formalising the relationship between indigenous people and the federal government, and Aboriginal health has been switched between different departments while remaining primarily within the Aboriginal affairs (rather than the health) portfolio. Since 1993, there has been pressure to return Aboriginal health to the health portfolio, and in July 1995, funding and administration of Aboriginal health services were moved from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission to the Department of Human Services and Health.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):549-58.
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    ABSTRACT: Australian Aborigines experience end-stage renal disease at 10 times the national average. Although contributing physiological factors have been widely discussed, there has been little research into cultural factors affecting treatment and outcomes. This paper discusses folk and lay understandings of renal physiology and disease aetiology, and social and cultural factors in dialysis and transplantation, in a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island renal transplant recipients. The implications for service delivery include the need for improved and clear information regarding renal disease and treatment and for culturally appropriate and acceptable support systems. Beliefs that continued alcohol consumption and poor nutrition were major reasons for kidney failure and separation from kin and country emerged as significant factors affecting treatment and leading to poor outcomes.
    Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):610-5.
  • Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):641-2.
  • Australian journal of public health 01/1996; 19(6):545-6.