Recent Reading

If there is one article you read from this list make it this one. The Brutal Truth: What Happened in the Gulf Country. Published in The Monthly in November 2009 it presents details of the massacres that occurred in the Top end up until the 1930s. It is a despairing but necessary read.

Drink, death and dollars looked at the “rivers of grog in Alice Springs. It was heard on ABC Radio’s The World Today in December 2010. Following its recent Walkley Award I went and listened to it again. Still relevant.

A read of Three Must-Haves for Using Twitter in a Crisis reminded me of the excellent Croakey Blog post The role of social media in flood response and recovery efforts. Which then led me to the United Nations Foundation report New Technologies in Emergencies and Conflict: The Role of Information and Social Networks. The last two are certainly worth a read.

The National Health and Medical Research Foundation ran its 75th anniversary Scientific Symposium at the end of November. All presentations are on the website but a must watch is that of Indigenous public health medical researcher Alex Brown Voices from the Centre of the Fringe: Chronic Disease in Indigenous Australians

“What scientists hold stock in, is only what they can measure. But you can’t measure the mind or the spirit. You can’t weigh it, you can’t deconstruct it. But only if we do will they see that Aboriginal people are spectators to the death of their culture, their lives….

We watch as our culture dies.

How are you going to measure that?”

His presentation high lighted several areas in chronic disease that we need to be approaching differently

I hope you find something you like from this week’s selection

Health Literacy theme at the 14th Chronic Diseases Network Conference

During September 2010 the 14th Annual Chronic Diseases Network Conference was held in Darwin. The theme was “Health Literacy: Opening Doors to Health and Wellbeing“, focusing on how important health literacy is to treating and preventing chronic conditions.

Low health literacy can be the cause of poor health status and management of chronic conditions.

I couldn’t attend last September so I was delighted to find many of the presentations on the website available for down load. I have placed three of the keynote addresses below. The Department of Health and Families has more presentations to view at the Chronic Disease Network conference page

Walgan Tilly – Redesigning Aboriginal Health Programs in NSW

In NSW the Redesign Project Walgan Tilly produced a number of recommendations which in June 2008 led to changes in the way programs for chronic disease in Indigenous Australians was handled.

This means that all existing and new initiatives designed for Aboriginal people with a chronic disease are now under the strategic program direction of Chronic Care for Aboriginal People – CCAP. This portfolio is managed and monitored by the Health Service Performance Improvement Branch with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre for Aboriginal Health.

This presentation by James Dunne Assistant State-wide Program Director NSW Health gave at the recent Redesigning Healthcare Summit (held early May in Melbourne) describes the journey. I look forward to a presentation in a few years showing us the improvement

Insomnia in the Elderly- RGH E-Bulletin

Common causes of insomnia in the elderly include pain due to arthritis or leg cramps, dyspnoea due to cardiovascular or respiratory disease, nocturia due to benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or caffeine ingestion, reflux due to GORD or depression/anxiety. Medications such as salbutamol, diuretics, anticholinesterases, SSRI antidepressants, beta blockers, and corticosteroids may also be implicated. Environmental factors such as intrusive noise or light may be a problem for those in residential care. The elderly are also more likely to take daytime naps which may disturb sleep at night. The patient’s beliefs about sleep and their own sleep problem may also provide useful information.

This article could also be looked read looking at a wider patient group in mind such as those with a chronic disease as intimated above.

Download the complete article here

For more information on drug therapy in the elderly visit Pharmamotion’s post Pharmacology in the elderly: pharmacokinetics, polypharmacy and related topics for a collection of video and slide shows by health professionals around the world

The 2009 RGH E-Bulletins are archived by topic here.

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