March report for Epidemiology for Policy and Practice

3 March 2021

Good News

  • Kai Hodgkin has started a new position with the University of Canberra as a part time lecturer and practice support for the Bachelor of Midwifery students. Kai is still working part time on their PhD.

RSPH workshops and seminars

  • On 10 February 2021, the Linked Data for Better Health team, led by Rosemary Korda, hosted a forum at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra on using the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) data asset to answer policy-relevant questions on health and health care in Australia. Attended by 130 people, from academia, non-government organisations, and state and commonwealth government departments and institutions. Danielle Butler, Jenny Welsh and Sadie Law presented at the forum.

Outreach and engagement

  • A collaborative group from EPP and across NCEPH made a Submission to the Inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Omnibus Act 2020 which highlighted concerns around the bill’s lack of provision for casual workers’ leave and job security (by K Lokuge, J Guthrie, L Strazdins, E Banks, E Lancsar, T Street, S Davis, C Day, H Vuong )
  • HHRI team released a Factsheet with RSPH on ‘Strengthening the Security and Protections of Workers is Essential to Community Health’ 
  • Jason Agostino and team met with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to discuss using National Key Performance Indicators data.
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples team met with AIHW to discuss the outcomes from the recently published smoking mortality paper.
  • Emily Banks, Rosemary Korda, Emily Lanscar, Josh Fear and Rebecca Zapelli met with the Health Systems Group at AIHW to discuss potentially working together around health system indicators.

Media releases/interest     

New staff

  • Dr Caitlin Swift is an Advanced Trainee in Public Health Medicine and has just commenced a trainee position shared between NCEPH and Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation in Broken Hill, NSW. Her training will be across the Maari Ma and the Humanitarian Health Research Initiative.

Student news

Papers published

  • K. Lokuge, E. Banks, S. Davis, L. Roberts, T. Street, D. O’Donovan, G. Caleo & K. Glass. 2021. Exit strategies: optimising feasible surveillance for detection, elimination, and ongoing prevention of COVID-19 community transmission. BMC Medicine
  • Butler DC, Agostino J, Paige E, Korda RJ, Douglas KA, Wade V, Banks E. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health checks: sociodemographic characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors. Public Health Res Pract. 2021; Online early publication.
  • Welsh, J., Banks, E., Joshy, G., Butterworth, P., Strazdins, L. & Korda, RJ. (2021) Does psychological distress directly increase risk of incident cardiovascular disease? Evidence from a prospective cohort study using a longer-term measure of distress. BMJ Open; 11: e039628.doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039628.
  • Tabatabaei-Jafari, H., Zulfiqar, T., Welsh, J., & Bagheri, N. (2020) The association between living in socially fragmented neighbourhoods and psychological distress among immigrant and non-immigrant people aged 45 and over in NSW, Australia. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. E :0004867420981414. doi: 10.1177/0004867420981414
  • Banks, E., Welsh, J., Joshy, G., Martin, M., Paige, E. & Korda, RJ. (2020) Comparison of cardiovascular disease risk factors, assessment and management in men and women, including consideration of absolute risk: a nationally representative cross-sectional study. BMJ Open; 10: e038761. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038761

Papers accepted

  • Barrett, E., Paige, E., Welsh, J., Korda, RJ., Joshy, G., Martin, M. & Banks, E. Differences between men and women in the use of preventive medications following a major cardiovascular event: Australian prospective cohort study. Accepted to Preventive Medicine Reports (21 February 2021).

Progress on research projects

The CVD team will hold their next CI meeting in April, after the team presents to the Thiitu Tharrmay reference group.  The team recently submitted their first report to government: Strategy to ensure cardiovascular disease risk algorithms are appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. They have been progressing with ethics and data access applications for the second phase of work, which focusses on identifying services performing well in chronic disease risk assessment and management.