1504.0 - Methodological News, Mar 2007
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/03/2007
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The Indigenous population in Australia have health outcomes far below those of the rest of the population. Many of the health conditions suffered by Indigenous people can be linked to factors which appear at a very early age. The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey (WAACHS), conducted by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (TICHR) in Western Australia (WA), was the first large scale epidemiological survey of Indigenous children and young people in Australia.
Analytical Services Branch, in collaboration with TICHR, investigated the feasibility of synthesising estimates of Indigenous child health and well-being for regions in Queensland (QLD) and the Northern Territory (NT) based on the WAACHS conducted in WA. The study was supported with funding provided by the Rio Tinto Aboriginal Child Health partnership, a collaboration between NT, QLD, WA and Australian governments, TICHR and Rio Tinto.
The broad approach to this task was as follows:
The validity and quality of all synthetic estimates depends critically on the key assumptions. Estimates derived from the models need to be used in the context of their assumptions and the quality statements included with them.
Attention focussed on three test variables: low birth weight, tropical ear, and self harm. The results of the feasibility study showed that:
As there was sufficient doubt as to the validity of the fitted models and the ability to map these to other jurisdictions, we concluded that it was not feasible to construct synthetic estimates for NT and QLD.
Despite the estimation proving unfeasible, this collaborative work served an important case study into extrapolation using synthetic estimation techniques. One related research paper has been released from the study (ABS catalogue number 1352.0.55.071) and another is forthcoming.
For more information please contact Jonathon Khoo on (02) 6252 5506.
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