The Australian Journal of Rural Health - April 2015 edition

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The April issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health (AJRH) will be out soon and has articles on a range of important rural and remote health topics. To whet your appetite, here is a summary of some of them.  

Not just a fisherman’s wife: Women’s contribution to health and wellbeing in commercial fishing. This study finds that women in the fishing industry provide a key but under-recognised resource for wellbeing among male fishers, industry organisations and health providers. It recommends that health providers and industry associations should draw on the expertise of women in the fishing industry to identify health issues and design responses that will have a positive impact on health and wellbeing in the industry.

Farmers’ work-day noise exposure. It is reported that 51 per cent of farm workers (around 163,000 men and women) are exposed daily to noise above levels known to produce long-term hearing loss.  A simple on-farm noise audit in conjunction with appropriate feedback was shown to be effective in raising farmers’ awareness of noise and assist them to reduce their exposure to noise.

Comparison of sedentary behaviours among rural men working in offices and on farms. Farmers from a region in South Australia were found to be less sedentary than rural office workers. For the latter, high levels of sedentariness in the office were not offset by high levels of physical activity in leisure time. Despite this regional finding, there is still uncertainty about the extent to which relatively high rates of chronic disease in male farmers are attributable to sedentary lifestyles.

Other articles include:

  • Rural collaborative guideline implementation: Evaluation of a hub and spoke multidisciplinary team model of care for orthogeriatric inpatients. A before and after study of adherence to clinical practice guidelines.
  • Practice model for a dementia outreach service in rural Australia.
  • Impact of support group intervention on family system strengths of rural caregivers of stroke patients in India.
  • Contribution of university departments of rural health to rural health research: An analysis of outputs.
  • Hand therapy services for rural and remote residents: Results of a survey of Australian occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

In his editorial, Professor David Perkins offers some thoughts on the current community consultation on the reform of Federation. He points out that if such reform is to lead to improved health outcomes, it will require changes to Commonwealth-State funding arrangements and the close engagement of individuals and organisations. It will also need vision and accountability. Professor Perkins notes that if we go on doing the same things we will probably achieve similar outcomes and leave similar problems for our children to solve.