Colin MacDougall

Colin MacDougall
Flinders University · Department of Public Health

BA (Hons) MA Ph.D

About

142
Publications
74,482
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Introduction
I work in public health at Flinders University as a teacher and researcher concerned with equity, ecology and healthy public policy. I co-ordinate the Doctor of Public Health and Undergraduate Public Health programs. My research passions are equity and policy; and how children experience their worlds, I work in Nepal establishing a socially accountable medical school, and public health school. I convene the Public Health Association of Australia's Child Health Special Interest Group.
Additional affiliations
January 2009 - present
Flinders University
Position
  • Executive Member
Description
  • The Southgate leads high quality scholarship on the social and economic determinants of health and health equity to inform policy to promote population health and reduce health inequities and their underlying causes.
January 2009 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Principal Fellow (Honorary)
Description
  • The Program works towards a vision of every child having the opportunity for a fulfilling and healthy life. Our research, through partnerships and an evidence-informed approach, aims to improve child health and reduce gaps in health inequalities.
January 1990 - present
Flinders University
Position
  • Professor of Public Health
Description
  • Our aim is to promote health and healthy environments in Australia and overseas by advocating for and advancing multi-disciplinary public health research, teaching and practice.

Publications

Publications (142)
Article
Early childhood education (ECE) and development is internationally recognised as important to child health and wellbeing and to enabling children to become healthy productive adults. This paper analyses Australian ECE policy current in 2019. It uses the institutional framework of ideas, actors and institutions to determine the extent to which ECE p...
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Leadership in public health is necessary, relevant, and important as it enables the engagement, management, and transformation of complex public health challenges at a national level, as well as collaborating with internal stakeholders to address global public health threats. The research literature recommends exploring the journey of public health...
Article
Issues addressed How health promotion is implemented varies and it is often not clear what activities are in place in a region. Understanding the extent of health promotion activities helps planning activities. Methods This research involved a rapid audit of the types of health promotion activities in a suburban region of South Australia . This an...
Article
Internationally, there has been a concerted policy focus on the integration of early years services to support children and families by bridging the divide between early childhood care and education services and formal schooling. The move toward service integration in Australia has been widely adopted into policy at all levels as 'best practice' fo...
Article
Many studies show that long-term poor mental health outcomes for disaster-affected people are predicted by postdisaster stressors. Despite this finding, existing recovery frameworks vary in how these stressors are conceptualised. This paper examines community members’ subjective perceptions of what they found problematic and useful in their recover...
Article
In the 14 years from 2004 to 2018, the state of South Australia underwent a sustainability transition that saw its privately owned and operated electricity system change from 100% fossil fuel generation to a position where 50% was generated by wind and solar. However, this transition has not been without controversy. Most notably, in 2016 and again...
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Despite increased efforts within child wellbeing research to include children’s perspectives in our knowledge of child wellbeing, young children’s voices continue to be largely excluded. As the transition to school is widely understood as a key time to assess child wellbeing, preschool aged children are a frequent target of child wellbeing indicato...
Article
Objectives This paper reflects on experiences of Australian public health researchers and members of research policy advisory groups (PAGs) in working with PAGs. It considers their benefits and challenges for building researcher and policy actor collaboration and ensuring policy relevance of research.Methods Four research projects conducted between...
Article
Objectives To profile the long-term mental health outcomes of those affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and to document the course of mental health since the disaster. Method The longitudinal Beyond Bushfires study included 1017 respondents (Wave 1; 3–4 years after the fires), 736 (76.1%) at Wave 2 (5 years after the fires) and 525 (51.6...
Article
Anger is an important dimension of affect and a prominent feature of posttraumatic mental health, but it is commonly overlooked in postdisaster settings. We aimed to examine the distribution and implications of significant anger problems in the aftermath of a natural disaster, via analyses of Beyond Bushfires survey data from 736 residents of rural...
Article
Background: Job description of public health officials in Nepal has been prepared for assigning the definite role, responsibilities and authorities to exercise in different positions and circumstances. The purpose of this study was to analyse the job description of public health officials emphasizing the perspective of leadership and management....
Article
Background In February 2009 Victorian rural communities were hit by the worst bushfires in Australian history. Immediately we evaluated community groups preparing residents for bushfires. Ten years on, we are one of the few teams to evaluate medium to long term community recovery using multiple methods. As climate change becomes more visible, the f...
Article
Background Intersectoral action on social determinants of health to reduce health inequities requires policy research beyond the usual social and human services. We ask how Australian energy policy affects health equity. Methods Document analysis and policy case studies on how goals, objectives and strategies of all Australian energy policies addr...
Article
The Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach aims to create coherent policy across government that will improve population health, wellbeing and equity while progressing the goals of other sectors. The quest to achieve policy coherence across government has focused interest on processes that facilitate collaboration between health and many other sect...
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Trust has been consistently identified as an important enabling factor for joined‐up government activity to generate strong, integrated and effective social policy. Despite this, there has been comparatively little detailed analysis of the complexities and dynamics involved. This paper provides a detailed examination of how trust is built, nurtured...
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Background This paper reports on a five-year study using a theory-based program logic evaluation, and supporting survey and interview data to examine the extent to which the activites of the South Australian Health in All Policies initiative can be linked to population health outcomes. Methods Mixed-methods data were collected between 2012 and 201...
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Participatory and rights based research with children and young people emerged over the last few decades. The participatory tradition describes children as human beings with a right to participate in research on questions important to their lives. Visual methods such as drawing, mapping and photography have been adapted from positivist traditions i...
Article
Involvement in voluntary associations is a key form of social capital and plays an especially important role following disaster as a venue for coordination and decision-making for the wider community. Yet, relatively little attention has been paid to how group involvement affects mental health, at either the individual or community level. The aim o...
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Introduction A well-established body of literature demonstrates that health and equity are strongly influenced by the consequences of governments’ policy and resultant actions (or inactions) outside the health sector. Consequently, the United Nations, and its agency the WHO, have called for national leadership and whole-of-government action to unde...
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Background: Preventive chemotherapy is the current global control strategy for schistosomiasis. The WHO target coverage rate is at least 75% for school-aged children. In the Philippines, the reported national coverage rate (43.5%) is far below the WHO target. This study examined the factors associated with non-compliance to mass drug administratio...
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This paper presents a case study of Beyond Bushfires, a large, multisite, mixed method study of the psychosocial impacts of major bushfires in Victoria, Australia. A participatory approach was employed throughout the study which was led by a team of academic investigators in partnership with service providers and government representatives and used...
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Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are responsible for deciding which interventions to implement with their child. There is limited research examining parental decision-making with regards to intervention approaches. A constructivist grounded theory methodology was implemented in this study. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken...
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Background: The importance of evaluating policy processes to achieve health equity is well recognised but such evaluation encounters methodological, theoretical and political challenges. This paper describes how a program theorybased evaluation framework can be developed and tested, using the example of an evaluation of the South Australian Health...
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The paper analyses the policy process which enabled the successful adoption of Australia's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013–2023 (NATSIHP), which is grounded in an understanding of the Social Determinants of Indigenous Health (SDIH). Ten interviews were conducted with key policy actors directly involved in its develop...
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There is strong, and growing, evidence documenting health inequities across the world. However, most governments do not prioritize policies to encourage action on the social determinants of health and health equity. Furthermore, despite evidence concerning the benefits of joined-up, intersectoral policy to promote health and health equity, it is ra...
Article
This paper describes the hot-box testing (based on ASTM C1363-11) of seven straw bale wall panels to obtain their thermal conductivity values. All panels were constructed with stacked bales and cement-lime plaster skins on each side of the bales. Four panels were made with traditional, 2-string field bales of densities ranging from 89.5 kg/m ³ –131...
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Abstract After publication of the article [1], it has been brought to our attention that Table 1 has been formatted poorly in the original version so that the columns are not aligned with their corresponding information. The correct version of the table is presented below. The original version of the article has now been revised.
Article
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Objectives: Schistosomiasis control is centered on preventive chemotherapy through mass drug administration (MDA) but endemic countries continue to struggle to attain target coverage rates and patient compliance. In the Philippines, Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) play a vital role in the coordination of MDA as advocates, implementers, and educator...
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Mobilising cross-sectoral action is helpful in addressing the range of social determinants that contribute to health inequities. The South Australian Health in All Policies (SA HiAP) approach was implemented from 2007 to stimulate cross-sector policy activity to address the social determinants of health to improve population wellbeing and reduce he...
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Background This paper examines the extent to which actors from sectors other than health engaged with the South Australian Health in All Policies (HiAP) initiative, determines why they were prepared to do so and explains the mechanisms by which successful engagement happened. This examination applies theories of policy development and implementatio...
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Previous studies of the impact of post-trauma research participation indicate that while the research experience may be emotional, it can still be valued by participants. This paper describes participant experiences of the Australian post-bushfire research study-Beyond Bushfires. It examines the relationships between distress during research partic...
Article
Objectives To map the changing prevalence and predictors of psychological outcomes in affected communities 5 years following the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria. Method Follow-up assessment of longitudinal cohort study in high, medium and non-affected communities in Victoria, Australia. Participants included 1017 respondents (Wave 1) intervie...
Article
Objective: Although disasters are a major cause of mental health problems and typically affect large numbers of people and communities, little is known about how social structures affect mental health after a disaster. The authors assessed the extent to which mental health outcomes after disaster are associated with social network structures. Met...
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Research on mental health following disasters has led to the identification of many individual protective and risk factors for postdisaster mental health. However, there is little understanding of the exact influence that disasters have on the functioning of intimate relationships. Especially relevant are attachment styles, which are likely to play...
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Background: There is strong evidence that early intervention (EI) can improve outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and consequently, the importance of EI has been widely promoted to families of children with ASD. However, the perspectives of parents of children with ASD regarding the EI message have not been widely examined....
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Bringing together 26 case studies from six continents, this volume provides a unique resource which discusses, in considerable depth, the multifaceted matrix of natural and human-made disasters.
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Background There is a significant body of evidence that highlights the importance of addressing the social determinants of child and youth health. In order to tackle health inequities Australian governments are being called upon to take action in this area at a policy level. Recent research suggests that the health and well-being of children and yo...
Article
Intersectoral action between public agencies across policy sectors, and between levels of government, is seen as essential for effective action by governments to address social determinants of health (SDH) and to reduce health inequities. The health sector has been identified as having a crucial stewardship role, to engage other policy sectors in a...
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This paper reports on the systematic search and review of the literature relating to the health and wellbeing of young children across the transition to school. It identified 56 papers (including empirical studies, reviews, commentaries, and reports) relevant to the research questions and completed an interpretive systematic review to ascertain the...
Article
Purpose: Providing therapy to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often requires therapists to work closely with both the child with ASD and their family. Although there is evidence outlining best practice for therapists when working with families of children with disabilities, few studies have examined the parental perspective. This stud...
Article
Short-term separation from close family members during a disaster is a highly salient event for those involved. Yet, its subsequent impact on mental health has received little empirical attention. One relevant factor may be attachment style, which influences patterns of support-seeking under threatening conditions. Individuals (N = 914) affected by...
Article
Evidence on social determinants of health and health equity (SDH/HE) is abundant but often not translated into effective policy action by governments. Governments’ health policies have continued to privilege medical care and individualised behaviour-change strategies. In the light of these limitations, the 2008 Commission on the Social Determinants...
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In the disaster literature, psycho-social recovery is conceptualised typically as the alleviation of traumatic stress, with the alleviation of disaster-related grief as a less prominent part of this. Yet, incorporating grief understandings into recovery conceptualisations post disaster is important. This paper explores these conceptualisations by a...
Chapter
Paperback: 9780195597417 A$79.95 oup.com.au/keleher4e Ebook: 9780195597424 A$71.95 oup.com.au/keleher4ebook Understanding Health Fourth Edition introduces students to all of the key health disciplines, examining public health, health promotion, social determinants of health and primary health care as a means of achieving greater fairness, social ju...
Article
Health systems have long been criticised for focussing on curing rather than preventing disease. This paper examines to what extent the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence (ATiR) scheme contributed to the change in norms whereby promoting well-being and a strategy to achieve this - Health in All Policies (HiAP) - was adopted by the South Australian (SA)...
Article
There is increasing recognition of the importance of shared responsibility between community and government in supporting community preparedness in disaster risk reduction programs. However, there is limited evidence to support decision making about how best to allocate resources. This paper presents an economic analysis of the Community Fireguard...
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The concept of resilience has become a guiding principle for preparedness, management and recovery. This paper argues that community wellbeing provides a broader means to understand disaster affects and outcomes and recognises that the cultural and social history and future of the community is more than just its experiences of disasters. The concep...
Book
Children, from infancy through adolescence, now spend more time consuming media content than they do in school, with parents or engaging in any activity other than sleep. Parents, educators, and policy-makers are concerned, confused and overwhelmed, since the media we use and how we use them influence virtually every aspect of our lives. The Harva...
Article
Children, young people and parents from communities affected by the February 2009 bushfires in Victoria, Australia, were interviewed four to five years post-fires as part of the Beyond Bushfires research study. Participant-guided mobile methods were used, in conjunction with interviews, with 35 people aged 4–66 years, to explore their current sense...
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Aim The multicultural study aimed at examining alcohol consumption change or drinking change of English, French and Chinese speaking immigrants in Ottawa and Gatineau, Canada, and identifying demographic factors that impact the change. Subjects and methods In all, 810 immigrants of three language sub-groups were recruited by purposive-sampling. Usi...
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OBJECTIVES: The multicultural study aims at examining Physical Activity Change of English, French and Chinese speaking immigrants in Ottawa and Gatineau, Canada, and identifying demographic factors that correlate with the change and impact the change. METHODS: 810 immigrants of three language sub-groups were recruited by purposive-sampling. Using s...
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This multicultural study aimed at examining moodchange of English, French and Chinese speaking immigrants in Ottawa-Gatineau Region, Canada, and identifying demographic factors that impact the change. 810 immigrants of English, French and Chinese speaking sub-groupswere recruited by purposive-sampling. Using self-reports, respondents answered quest...
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Full-text available
Objectives: This multicultural study aimed at examining sleep change of English, French and Chinese speaking immigrants in Ottawa and Gatineau, Canada, and identifying demographic factors that impact the change. Materials and Methods: 810 immigrants of the three language sub-groups were recruited by purposive-sampling. Using self-reports, responde...
Article
This multicultural study aimed at examining moodchange of English, French and Chinese speaking immigrants in Ottawa-Gatineau Region, Canada, and identifying demographic factors that impact the change. 810 immigrants of English, French and Chinese speaking sub-groupswere recruited by purposive-sampling. Using self-reports, respondents answered quest...
Article
Research has established the mental health sequelae following disaster, with studies now focused on understanding factors that mediate these outcomes. This study focused on anger, alcohol, subsequent life stressors and traumatic events as mediators in the development of mental health disorders following the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires, Australia'...
Article
The concept of resilience has become a guiding principle for preparedness, management and recovery. This paper argues that community wellbeing provides a broader means to understand disaster affects and outcomes and recognises that the cultural and social history and future of the community is more than just its experiences of disasters. The concep...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the process of resilience in multiple system levels through the perspectives of people who experienced a natural disaster in Australia. By focussing on human resilience, the paper adds to the literature by taking a salutogenic approach to addressing the effects on mental health arising from living through a natural disaster. The...
Article
Despite prolonged droughts over the last decade across rural South Australia the majority of farmers continue to farm. This research asks the questions, ‘what helps them to “get by”?’, and ‘does this mean that they are resilient?’. In this study, resilience implies a strengths-based approach to mental health and well-being whilst other drought resp...
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This paper discusses findings from Australian research that used a qualitative and participatory methods approach to understand how children develop and negotiate their everyday mobility. Children's mobility negotiations are discussed in reference to interactions with parents, peers and places; journeys in relation to their multi-modality, composit...
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Objective: Research has established the mental health sequelae following disaster, with studies now focused on understanding factors that mediate these outcomes. This study focused on anger, alcohol, subsequent life stressors and traumatic events as mediators in the development of mental health disorders following the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires,...
Article
Purpose – Post-disaster research presents particular challenges for the qualitative researcher due to the wider contextual demands of media attention, public debates and intense scrutiny of policy and service delivery. It highlights the importance of reflexive practice to identify and address any unintended influences on the research processes and...