Reports and publications (published elsewhere)

Information for action: improving the heart health story for Aboriginal people in Western Australia (BAHHWA Report)

Posted on: 9 March, 2015
Issue: Vol 15 No 1, January 2015 – March 2015
Related to Cardiovascular health Health services Hospitalisation Policies Western Australia

Katzenellenbogen JM, Haynes E, Woods JA, Bessarab D, Durey A, Dimer L, Maiorana A, Thompson SC (2015)
Information for action: improving the heart health story for Aboriginal people in Western Australia (BAHHWA Report)
Perth: Western Australian Centre for Rural Health, University of Western Australia

This report primarily draws on research looking at disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians (WA) in cardiovascular health and health care.

The report was based on the Bettering Aboriginal heart health in WA project (BAHHWA), which analysed detailed epidemiological, service utilisation and costing information on a range of heart and associated chronic diseases among Aboriginal people in WA.

The report notes that Aboriginal people experience both illness and death from heart disease at higher rates and at a much earlier average age than non-Aboriginal people.

Some of the recommendations from the report include:

  • implement policies across sectors to reduce disadvantage and barriers to healthy lifestyles
  • conduct heart health screens for risk factors, treatment and follow-up from early adolescence with appropriate advice and follow-up of findings
  • encourage businesses and Aboriginal community organisations to focus on healthy work/organisational environments, healthy life choices and screening
  • produce clinical guidelines and pathways that are relevant to the region where patients live and which take account of complex health and social issues
  • address financial barriers to uptake of cardiac assessment and management
  • strengthen the inpatient experience and discharge processes for Aboriginal cardiac patients
  • employ appropriate staffing to ensure communication between Aboriginal patients and staff, in particular Aboriginal health professionals and interpreters.

Abstract adapted from the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health

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