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Health Issues, Tasmania
 
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    NAME OF ORGANISATION
    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    OVERVIEW
    This once-only survey was conducted to obtain information on attitudes about health and factors that affect an individual's health.

    Data was collected for the usually resident civilian population aged 15 and over. (Special dwellings and visitors to private dwellings were excluded.)

    It was conducted as a supplementary to the October 1996 Monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).

    Information collected comprised:

    • Attitudes to the immunisation of children.
    • Tetanus immunisation status.
    • Attitudes about the provision of immunisation services.
    • Smoking status including passive smoking in the selected dwelling and in the workplace.
    • Whether the household has smokers present.
    • Whether children are present in household (from LFS schedule).
    • Injury occurrence in the last 3 months including type of injury, body part affected, where injury occurred and cause of injury.
    • An assessment of the exposure to risk of injury and the situation most likely to cause injury.
    • Attitudes about exposure to the sun.
    • Whether a respondent has or is likely to have skin cancer.
    • Factors affecting individual health.
    Results from the survey will be used for planning and funding purposes. For example information about attitudes to immunisation will be used to determine who should provide the service, where the service should be provided and if their should be funding to increase the awareness of immunisation.

    Results were released in October 1996 in the form of a publication (Health Issues, Tasmania, October 1995, ABS Cat No. 4396.6) and additional tables.

    PURPOSE
    The survey will provide data on attitudes about health and factors that affect an individual's health. Specifically this survey will provide information that is critical for the planning and monitoring of health strategies. The information is also necessary for the development and implementation of future health promotion and prevention strategies and campaigns. It is necessary to achieve State Health Goals and Targets which are consistent with the National Health Goals and Targets set out in Better Health Outcomes for Australia.

    Injury:
    In 1990 Tasmania had the second highest mortality rate of all states (Monash University Research Centre 1991). Nationally and in Tasmania there are major initiatives aimed at lowering the high rate of deaths and morbidity due to injury. The information proposed for collection in this survey is critical in selecting target areas and reducing injury rates.

    Skin:
    While protective behaviours are measured in the NHS, other lifestyle and skin type questions are not. Current research is focusing on skin types, genes and the propensity to develop skin cancer. There is also no knowledge about how Tasmanians rate their propensity to develop the disease. This sort of information is vital to health campaigns aimed at changing behaviour and promoting skin check ups.

    Smoking:
    While the NHS provides data on smoking habits, it does not measure exposure to smoking within the home and workplace, nor measure if people work in a smoke free workplace. This has major health policy and legislative implications.

    Attitudes to Immunisation:
    There is currently a problem with the drop in the number of children fully immunised and the failure of adults to keep up immunisation such as tetanus boosters. There is also some discussion in the public arena about the ill effects of some vaccines. There is, however, no information about why there is a drop in immunisation levels or about Tasmanian's attitudes to many immunisation issues. Until some evidence is provided as to what people think, it is very difficult to develop promotion campaigns or target high risk areas.

    Factors Affecting Health:
    There is no information available on what Tasmanians regard as the main factors affecting health. This information will be very valuable in targeting the issues that most concern the population and alerting people to risk factors that are proven to affect health.

    On a more general basis:
    the Department of Community Services and Health (DCSH) requires information on all the proposed topics and intends to use the data:
    • for service planning;
    • to review and redevelop State Health Goals and Targets;
    • to identify priority intervention areas (e.g. health promotions or legislative change); and
    • to support the need for new initiatives funds.

    The University of Tasmania, Menzies Centre for Population Health Research has a particular interest in data on Injury, Skin, Exposure to Smoking and Factors Affecting Health. This data will be used to:
    • identify priority intervention areas;
    • monitor the incidence of injury in the population; and
    • evaluate interventions.

    Primary Care Providers require information on Injury, Exposure to Smoking, Attitudes to Immunisation and Factors Affecting Health for use in:
    • developing policy;
    • identifying priority intervention areas;
    • monitoring and evaluating intervention programs;
    • lobbying relevant State agencies and the Government for a commitment of funds or legislative changes; and
    • educational campaigns.

    Kid Safe are particularly interested in Injury data to be used for:
    • project planning, implementation and evaluation;
    • educational campaigns; and
    • feeding into national data.

    The Tasmanian Injury Coalition (TIC) has a need for Injury data for use in:
    • project planning;
    • educational campaigns; and
    • lobbying the Government for funding or legislative change.

    Tasmania Development and Resources (TDR) requires data on Injury, Skin, and Exposure to Smoking to:
    • plan occupational health and safety;
    • identify priority intervention areas; and
    • develop policy.

    Transport and Works would use Injury data to:
    • aid in policy development;
    • identify priority intervention areas; and
    • monitor and evaluate intervention programs.

    Department of Sport and Recreation is particularly interested in Injury and Skin data for use in:
    • policy development
    • identification of priority intervention areas; and
    • monitoring and evaluating intervention programs.

    Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health requires data on Injury, Skin and Access to Health Services to:
    • aid in policy development;
    • identify priority intervention areas;
    • monitor and evaluate intervention programs;
    • redevelop National Health Goals and Targets; and
    • identify the need for state based action.
    The National Injury Surveillance Unit (NISU) have a particular interest in Injury data to:
    • contribute to national data base;
    • identify priority intervention areas;
    • monitor and evaluate intervention programs; and
    • simulate action.

    Local governments have identified a need for Injury and Immunisation data for use in:
    • policy development;
    • identifying priority intervention areas;
    • monitoring and evaluating intervention programs; and
    • providing information for local government by-laws.

    Community groups require information on Injury, Skin and Access to Health Services data. Uses include:
    • educational campaigns;
    • stimulating action and community involvement; and
    • lobbying relevant State Agencies and the government for funds or legislative changes.

    The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is interested in information on Injury and Exposure to Smoking. Uses include:
    • policy development;
    • identifying priority intervention areas;
    • monitoring and evaluating intervention programs; and
    • lobbying relevant State Agencies and the government for a commitment of funds or legislative changes.

    Headway (brain injury community group and consumers of health services) are interested in information on Injury to be used in:
    • lobbying relevant State agencies and the Government for a commitment of funds or legislative changes; and
    • educational and community projects.

    Consumer Affairs has a need for Injury data to:
    • assess product safety; and
    • lobby relevant State agencies and the Government for policy or legislative changes.

    Australian Sport Medical Federation has a need for Injury data to be used to:
    • aid in policy development;
    • identify priority intervention areas;
    • monitor and evaluate intervention programs;
    • lobby relevant State agencies and the Government for a commitment of funds or legislative changes; and
    • educational campaigns.

    Public Health Association requires data on Injury, Skin, Exposure to Smoking, Attitudes to Immunisation and Factors Affecting Health. This data will be used for:
    • project planning, educational campaigns; and
    • lobbying the government for funding or legislative change.

    State Cancer Council has a particular interest in Skin data for:
    • project planning, educational campaigns; and
    • lobbying the government for funding or legislative change.

    Department of Education and the Arts is interested in Skin data for:
    • educational campaigns; and
    • identification of priority intervention areas.

    SCOPE
    Scope
    The Health Issues Survey was conducted as supplementary to the Monthly Labour Force Survey. For the Health Issues Survey, all usual residents of private dwellings aged 15 years and over were in scope. Special dwellings and visitors to private dwellings were excluded.
    Other normal Labour Force exclusions apply to scope and coverage, for example:
    • members of the permanent defence forces;
    • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated populations;
    • overseas residents in Australia;
    • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia; and
    • Jervis Bay Territory.

    Coverage
    In the Labour Force Survey, coverage rules are applied that aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection. The chance of a person being enumerated at two separate dwellings in the one survey is considered to be negligible.

    DATA DETAIL

    Conceptual framework
    As the data were collected as supplementary to the Monthly Labour Force Survey, some data can be cross-classified with data from that Labour Force Survey. For example:

    • Age;
    • Sex;
    • Statistical regions; and,
    • Number of children present in household.

    Main outputs
    Results from the survey were published (Health Issues, Tasmania, ABS Cat No. 4396.6) and additional user tables were produced. In some cases, additional unpublished cross-classifications of data items are available.

    Population:
    Tasmanian civilian population aged 15 and over (in private dwellings). In October 1995, there were an estimated 352,300 civilian residents aged 15 years or more in private Tasmanian dwellings.

    The main data items:

    Persons: perceived main factor affecting personal health by age and sex
    Persons: smoking status in home by age and sex
    Households: household smoking status by number of children under 15 in the household
    Employed persons: workplace smoking status by industry of employment
    Persons: weekly hours exposed to summer sun by age and sex
    Persons who sunbake: weekly hours spent sunbaking by sex and age
    Persons: skin cancer history and skin reaction to summer sun and how often types of protection against sun used by sex and age
    Persons without skin cancer history: perceived risk of developing skin cancer by sex and age
    Persons injured in previous 3 months: main type of injury received and cause of injury and body part affected and place of injury occurrence by sex and age
    Persons at risk of injury in future: situation which places person at risk of injury by sex and age
    Persons: attitude to effectiveness of immunisation by sex and age and whether children present in household
    Persons: knowledge of occurrence of immunisation side effects in children by sex and age and whether children present in household
    Persons: knowledge of occurrence of immunisation side effects in children by sex and age and whether children present in household
    Persons: attitude to importance of council immunisation service by sex
    Persons: attitude to importance of GP immunisation service by sex
    Persons: perceived need for exclusion from school of unimmunised children during infectious disease outbreaks by sex and age and whether children present in household
    Persons: elapsed time since last tetanus injection by sex and age and region of usual residence

    Also:
    • Tetanus immunisation status
    • An assessment of the exposure to risk of injury and the situation most likely to cause injury
    • Factors affecting individual health

    Data breakdowns: data was disaggregated at the Tasmanian level and for regions.

    Classifications
    A. Classifications from the Monthly Labour Force Survey

    Personal characteristics: age, sex
    Geography: Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)
    Households with children present

    B. Main classifications from the Health Issues Survey

    The Australian and New Zealand Industry Classification (ANZIC)
    International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
    Causes of Injury

    External causes were categorised using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) External Causes codes (E-codes).

    Other concepts (summary)
    Glossary

    Health issues:
    Term used to describe topics covered by the October 1995 survey.
    Main factor affecting personal health: Survey respondents were asked, 'What is the main thing, if anything, that you think affects your health?' Responses were classified in the office after interview.

    Home smoking status:
    Two items are presented. Household smoking status describes whether smoking occurs in households or not. Smoking status in home describes whether smokers smoke inside their home and whether non-smoking householders are subject to smoke from other householders smoking in their home.
    Workplace smoking status: Passive smoking status has been estimated for employed persons who are not smokers and who work inside where smoking is allowed. Inside is any confined space, including a vehicle or building.

    Passive smoking:
    Persons who are smokers are not classified as passive smokers even if they refrain from smoking in confined air locations where others are smoking. No measure of the degree of passive exposure to cigarette smoke was undertaken in this survey. Industry of employment: There may be some minor variations between the estimates of employed persons by industry produced from the Health Issues Survey and those produced from the Labour Force Survey, because of differences in data capture methodology. The Australian and New Zealand Industry Classification (ANZIC) was used to classify employed persons.Skin reaction to summer sun: Survey respondents were shown a prompt card with various skin reaction categories and asked how they would describe their skin's reaction to the summer sun (e.g. always burns, never tans; usually burns, sometimes tans)

    Skin protection actions:
    Survey respondents were asked about the frequency of various skin protection actions. Skin cancer history and risk assessment: Survey respondents were asked if they had ever had skin cancer. Those who had not were asked about the likelihood of developing skin cancer.

    Injuries:
    Respondents were asked if they had suffered an injury in the three months before the survey. Only those persons who further reported that the injury prevented them from undertaking a usual activity for a day or more were included in the estimates of persons injured.Injury type: Survey respondents were asked, 'What was the main injury you received?' Responses were categorised in the field. Not all categories are presented in Table 9, since for some categories no response was recorded. Categories for which there were no responses included concussion or other head injury, abrasion, penetrating wound, foreign object entering the body, burn and poisoning.

    Fracture - The breaking of a bone, cartilage etc, or the resulting condition.
    Dislocation - Is the act of dislocation. Normally it involves a joint of bone moving out of place.
    Sprain - To overstrain or wrench (the ankle writs, or other part of the body at a joint) so as to injure without fracture or dislocation. A violent straining or wrenching of the parts around a joint, without dislocation.
    Strain - to impair, injure, or weaken by stretching or over exertion, as a muscle.
    to exert to the utmost.
    Concussion - the act of shaking or shocking as by a blow. Jarring of the brain, spinal cord etc.
    Bruising - To injure by striking or pressing, without breaking the skin or drawing blood. To develop a discoloured spot on the skin as a result of a blow, fall etc.
    Abrasion - The result of rubbing or abrading; usually associated with the skin.
    Cut - to penetrate with, or as with, a sharp-edged instrument.
    Laceration - the act of lacerating, to tear roughly; mangle; to hurt.
    Puncture - The act of pricking or perforating as with a pointed instrument or object.
    Penetrating wound - that penetrates; piercing; sharp. A wound produced by an agent or missile such that depth is its salient feature, as a wound entering a member.
    Foreign object entering the body - A substance/object found in but not belonging to the human body. Note the difference between this and a penetrating wound. A foreign object remains in the body, whereas with a wound it is removed.
    Burn - an injury produced by heat or by abnormal cold, chemicals, poison gas, electricity or lightening.
    Poisoning - any substance (liquid, solid or gaseous) that because of an inherent deleterious property tends to destroy life or impair health.

    Injury causes:
    Responses to the question 'What caused the injury?' were classified to either internal or external causes. An internal injury cause is one where the injury condition arises following events where there is either no external agent or no proven causation between an external agent and the advent of the condition (e.g. 'loose cartilage catching on knee joint' and 'hurt back lifting small child out of car restraint'). External causes were further categorised using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) External Causes codes (E-codes).

    Body region of injury
    Head/neck/face
    Back - May be muscular as well as spinal, but should be separately identified from trunk injuries.
    Trunk - the body of a human being excluding the head and limbs with the exception of the back which has its own category. Note: that this includes
    internal organs.
    Arm/hand
    Leg/foot
    Not Specified - were the respondent does not wish to tell you the body part affected.

    Injury risk assessment:
    All respondents to the survey were asked whether their work or lifestyle placed them at risk of having an injury in the following twelve months. Those who responded positively were asked what particular situation placed them at risk. Field responses were classified according to the 'type of activity' classification in ICD 10 except that for each activity a distinction was made between the general activity (e.g. general employment activities) transport-related activities (e.g. transport-related employment activities).

    Immunisation effectiveness:
    Respondents were asked, 'How effective do you think immunisation is at preventing childhood diseases?'
    Immunisation side effects: Respondents were asked, 'How often do you think children have side effects from immunisation?'

    Exclusion from school of unimmunised children:
    Respondents were asked, 'Do you think children who are not immunised should be kept away from schools during outbreaks of infectious diseases?'

    Immunisation services:
    Respondents were asked, 'How important is it that councils/GPs provide immunisation services for childhood diseases?'

    Illness definitions
    (childhood) diseases - a morbid condition of the body, or of some organ or part; illness; sickness; ailment.
    injury - a disruption to the structure or functioning of the human organism, resulting from acute exposure to physical or chemical energy. It is widely accepted by health professionals in Australia that the use of the descriptor 'accident' is not desirable as it implies an unavoidable event.
    (skin) cancer - a malignant and invasive growth or tumour.
    infectious - contagious. capable of being caught.
    immunisation - exemption from organisms which can infect the body.
    tetanus - particular disease that affects the nerves.
    inside - refers to any confined space whether this be a car or building.

    Where the respondent was at the time the injury occurred

    At work - is only the respondent's place of work.
    At your house - is any property owned by the respondent. i.e. land, shack, home (with the exception of business). If the respondents work is at home determine whether they were working or just at home when the injury occurred. If the respondent is a homeworker and they injured themselves working then the injury did occur at home.
    At another person's house - This is not just associated with somebody the respondent knows.
    Public footpath, road - This category covers motor vehicle accidents and any accidents that results on the footpath etc.
    Public building - can be anything other then a sporting arena (e.g. shopping centre, town hall, bar)
    Sporting event - Involves not only participation but also if spectating.
    Other - will incorporate those factors not included in the above categories.
    Sun Sunbaking - is lying in the sun with the primary intention of exposing the skin to the sun to get a tan. Note: that if the respondent is gardening without a shirt this is not sunbaking unless they have the intention to try and tan.

    GEOGRAPHIC DETAIL
    Tasmania
    Statistical Division

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    not applicable

    COLLECTION FREQUENCY
    Once Only

    Frequency comments
    not applicable

    COLLECTION HISTORY
    Not applicable. This is a once-only survey.

    DATA AVAILABILITY
    Yes

    Data availability comments
    not applicable


    DATE OF LAST UPDATE FOR THIS DOCUMENT
    06/05/2002 11:12 AM



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