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Lung health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders: breathing easy is not so easy

  • O'Grady, Kerry-Ann
  • Revell, Amber
  • Maguire, Graeme
  • Millonig, Renate
  • Newman, Michael
  • Reid, David
  • Hill, Deborah
  • Chang, Anne
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2011
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


Objectives In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland, to (a) determine the disease burden of common chronic lung diseases and (b) identify areas of need with respect to lung health services. Methods Literature reviews and analyses of hospitalisation and mortality data were used to describe disease epidemiology and available programs and services. Key stakeholder interviews and an online survey of health professionals were used to evaluate lung health services across the state and to identify services, needs and gaps. Results Morbidity and mortality from respiratory diseases in the Indigenous population is substantially higher than the non-Indigenous population across all age groups and regions. There are inadequate clinical services and resources to address disease prevention, detection, intervention and management in an evidence-based and culturally acceptable fashion. There is a lack of culturally appropriate educational resources and management programs, insufficient access to appropriately engaged Indigenous health professionals, a lack of multi-disciplinary specialist outreach teams, fragmented information systems and inadequate coordination of care. Conclusions Major initiatives are required at all levels of the healthcare system to adequately address service provision for Indigenous Queenslanders with lung diseases, including high quality research to investigate the causes for poor lung health, which are likely to be multifactorial.

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