General practitioner utilisation amongst urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged less than 5 years

Hall, Kerry, Chang, Anne B., Otim, Michael, Anderson, Jennifer, Kemp, Anita, & O'Grady, Kerry-Ann (2015) General practitioner utilisation amongst urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged less than 5 years. In 6th IMICH - Resilience: Our Ancestors' Legacy, Our Children's Strength, 20-22 March 2015, Ottawa, Ontario Canada.

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There are limited studies documenting the frequency and reason for attendance to primary health care services in Australian children, particularly for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This study describes health service utilisation in this population in an urban setting.


An ongoing prospective cohort study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged <5 years registered with an urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care centre in Brisbane, Australia. Detailed demographic, clinical, health service utilisation and risk factor data are collected by Aboriginal researchers at enrolment and monthly for a period of 12 months on each child. The incidence of health service utilisation was calculated according to the Poisson distribution.


Between 14 February 2013 and 31 October 2014, 118 children were recruited, providing data for 535 child-months of observation. Ninety-one percent of children were Aboriginal, 4% Torres Strait Islander and 5% were both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. The incidence of presentations to see a doctor for any reason was 43.9 episodes/100 child months (95%CI 38.4 – 49.9) The most common reasons for presentation were for immunisations (23%), respiratory illnesses (19%) and for Australian Government funded Indigenous child health check (16%). The primary health services used, for majority of these visits were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific medical services (61%).


Within a cultural-specific service for an urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, there is a high frequency of childhood attendance at for primary health care services. Well-health checks and respiratory illnesses were the most common reasons. The high proportion of visits for well child services suggests a potential for opportunistic health promotion, education and early interventions across a range of child health issues.

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ID Code: 90264
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 16 Nov 2015 22:26
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2015 22:26

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