Research Excellence in Aboriginal Child and Adolescent Health
 

   

Our Research Program

 
 

Systematic Reviews

 

Smoking cessation

Effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions for Aboriginal people

Smoking is a major contributor to the gap in Aboriginal health status. We are building a comprehensive 'evidence-gap map' and an audit of current tobacco control activities to explain why some interventions work in some populations but not among Aboriginal people. Our work focuses on priority Aboriginal populations including smoking prevention among adolescents and cessation among pregnant women and the impacts of populations wide tobacco control strategies such as price measures.

 
 

jamie bryant & rob sanson-fisher

University of Newcastle

 

Adolescent health

Effectiveness of health interventions for Aboriginal adolescents across multiple domains

Indigenous adolescents experience a multitude of risk factors related to mental and emotional health, sexual and reproductive health, alcohol and other drugs, risk taking and experiments, self harm and injury. However protective factors that can promote resilience and good health include a strong connection to culture, a sense of self-esteem and autonomy, and living with a cohesive an supportive family and community. Community-based interventions show promise in improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous adolescents by targeting the community not the individual. This review is identifying the effective interventions for young people.

sandra eades & Daniel Mcaullay

University of Melbourne

University of Western Australia

 

nutritional interventions

Effectiveness of nutrition interventions for Aboriginal families and communities

Malnutrition (under or over nutrition) is prevalent in many Aboriginal family and communities and is a key driver of intergenerational health outcomes. We are developing a framework for reviewing the evidence and planning nutrition interventions that target mothers and their children as part of an integrated strategy to improve pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes. A series of systematic review of the evidence of the benefit of interventions to improve nutrition in Aboriginal communities will feed into policy advice and further intervention research.

sandra eades

University of Melbourne

 

burn injury prevention

Effectiveness of interventions for preventing burns and minimising severity of burn injuries among Aboriginal children

Aboriginal children are hospitalised for burns and scalds twice as often as other children, have burns affecting larger areas and have longer hospital stays. Burns are devastating injuries with potentially long-term impacts on the child, their family and the broader community. We are conducting systematic reviews of the effectiveness of programs aimed at preventing burns in Indigenous children, including the acceptability and cost effectiveness, and on effectiveness of treatment approaches such as telehealth. 

rebecca ivers & sandra eades

University of New South Wales
University of Melbourne

 

Observational Studies

 
 

NExt generation youth wellbeing study

Understanding health trajectories in Aboriginal adolescents and youth 10-24

Responding to the priorities identified by Aboriginal leaders in Perth, Albany and Alice Springs this longitudinal research focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young adults aged 10-24. Our study seeks to understand the factors that determine future health and to inform service delivery and health and social policy. More than 2000 participants are being recruited from Western Sydney, Alice Springs and Perth/Albany with data collection at baseline, 12 and 24 months covering risk and protective factors for physical and mental health and the social and environmental context where young people are growing up.

Sandra eades & rebecca ivers

University of Melbourne

University of New South Wales

 

smoking incentives

Incentives for smoking cessation among pregnant Aboriginal people

Recent evidence indicates financial incentives for smoking cessation can be effective, more so than other interventions, but this has not been demonstrated in Aboriginal women. Our formative qualitative study builds on previous work conducted here and in New Zealand to design an incentives intervention that will be acceptable to Aboriginal women and health leaders. We will pilot this intervention and evaluate the acceptability, effectiveness, costs and the potential for any unintended consequences. 

jamie bryant, rob sanson-fisher

& Sandra Eades

University of Newcastle

University of Melbourne

 

0-5 Cohort

A cohort study of health needs for children aged 0 to 5 in Alice Springs

Responding to a need identified by Aboriginal health leaders in Alice Springs this research focuses on improving the health and school readiness of approximately 800 infants and children aged 0 to 5, particularly in addressing  the social determinants of health in Central Australia. This study includes qualitative work with families and service providers, a rapid review of existing local evidence, mapping of the available services and data, a clinical audit of hospital admissions and the development and piloting of methods for a major cohort study with this group.

sandra eades & sharon goldfeld

University of Melbourne

Murdoch Children's Research Institute

 

injury/burns

Understanding burn injury in Aboriginal children

Burns units regularly report losing contact with Aboriginal patients particularly those discharged to non-urban areas. Improving access for Aboriginal children to quality, long-term burn care is essential. Using a mix of qualitative research with patients, families and providers alongside hospital records and linked data all Aboriginal children presenting for burns treatment in NSW, QLD, SA and NT will be eligible for participation in this study which will document patient journeys, map services and evaluate provision of care.

Other injury cohort studies

We will examine the trajectories of health and well-being of Aboriginal children and young people participating in the the DRIVE and ARCHER studies in relation to risk behaviours and injury, comparing risk factors across cohorts.

rebecca ivers, daniel mcaulley & Louisa Jorm

University of New South Wales

University of Western Australia

UNSW Centre for Big Data

 

Big Data

 
 

defying the odds

Exploring the impact of perinatal outcomes, maternal social and health outcomes and level of culturally appropriate service availability on the health of WA Aboriginal infants and children aged 0-5 years.

As part of an existing study we have assembled a cohort of Aboriginal infants and children in WA using linked data from multiple datasets including hospital records, births and deaths records, mental health and drug and alcohol services data, electoral commission records and corrective services data. Our work quantifies the contributions of factors at the individual, family and community level and the intergenerational impacts of family and community experiences. One area of focus is highlighting opportunities to disrupt the cross generational cycle of substance abuse and incarceration.

louisa jorm, sandra eades & daniel mcaullAy

UNSW Centre for Big Data

University of Melbourne

University of Western Australia

 

geographic variation in smoking in pregnancy

Geographical variation and predictors of smoking during pregnancy in Aboriginal women

Smoking during pregnancy is the most significant modifiable cause of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Around half of Aboriginal women smoke during pregnancy however there is no reported data about any geographic variation in this or the predictors. Using the National Perinatal Data we will analyse smoking rates and predictors of smoking by statistical area. Our work will allow for the targeting of smoking support services to the specific areas where rates are the highest.

 

seeding success

Identifying factors that contribute to positive early childhood health and development in Aboriginal children

Promoting positive early childhood development is fundamental to improving life opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal Australians. However, national data show that a significant proportion of Aboriginal children have markers of developmental vulnerability at school entry and this tracks through to poor literacy and numeracy outcomes across all schooling years. We currently lack information about the key drivers of positive early childhood development. Seeding Success aims to address this information gap using linked routinely collected health, welfare and education data, from birth to school age, for all children who started school in NSW in 2009 and 2012. 

 

jamie bryant, rob sanson-fisher,

sandra eades & louisa jorm

University of Newcastle

University of Melbourne

UNSW Centre for Big Data

 

louisa jorm, sandra eades

& Sharon Goldfeld

UNSW Centre for Big Data

University of Melbourne

Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Intervention Studies

 
 

adolescent health checks

Increasing preventive health checks for adolescents and youth

A major gap in current national health policy is the absence of an adolescent and young adult health check and services targeting young people. Using a stepped wedge RCT design rolled out sequentially across six Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in one state we will examine the effectiveness of a system-based intervention to increase the rate of health assessments among young people aged 15-24.

 

rob sanson-fisher, chris oldmeadow,

sandra eades & andrew searles

University of Newcastle

Hunter Medical Research Institute

University of Melbourne

 

injury prevention

Prevention of burns in children

Despite the high rate of burns among Aboriginal children there are few dedicated prevention programs. Drawing on the findings from the systematic reviews and observational studies under CRE REACH we will develop and pilot a burn prevention program specifically for Aboriginal children in remote communities in Central Australia with the potential for a larger trial in the future.

rebecca ivers, sandra eades,

daniel mcaullay & Louisa Jorm

University of New South Wales

University of Melbourne

University of Western Australia

UNSW Centre for Big Data

 

adolescent driver education

Improving employment and education outcomes for adolescents through driver change programs

Suicide and road injury are the leading causes of death for young Aboriginal people and multiple communities in Central and Northern Australia have highlighted that barriers to transport and licensing are a major concern and licensing offences are a major contributor to the high incarceration rates for Aboriginal people. Drawing on data from the Next Generation study and building on previous work in NSW and the NT we will develop and pilot a support program for Central Australia to increase licensing and reduce licensing related driving offences.

rebecca ivers, sandra eades & 

daniel Mcaullay

University of New South Wales

University of Melbourne

University of Western Australia