Research the available statistics on your chosen health issue using credible
sources. These might include (but are not limited to):
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Health Observatory (GHO)
It is always important to explain the global context of the issue you are looking at. What are
the international patterns in relation to the issue? How do these compare to Australia? A
good starting point for global health data is the WHO.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
The main source of Australian health statistics is the Australian Bureau of Statistics. You
could start by searching the results of their Australian Health Survey, and look at the
information on the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA).
Public Health Information Development Unit (PHIDU)
Social Health Atlases providing lots of charts, data and reports are available here from the
PHIDU. Led by Director John Glover at the University of Adelaide.
STEP 3: Once you have done some initial research into the data on your health issue
you will then need to identify a minimum of one population focus that is most relevant in
terms of the patterns evident in the health data and how the health issue impacts more or
less on specific population groups. Depending on the data you find choosing two might be
more helpful in describing the patterns you have found (eg. Age and Gender, or Gender and
Geographical location). These might include any of the following:
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander or non-Indigenous
Geographical location (e.g. urban or rural/remote)
For example, if your chosen health issue was sexually transmissible infections you may
decide to look at STIs in women aged 15-24. If your topic was suicide you might choose to
look at suicide in men living in rural areas.
STEP 4: Write a summary of the statistics that covers the following:
History of the health issue (eg, is it a recent phenomenon, how has the issue
changed or become more prominent in recent times?)
Global data on the health issue (eg, how do figures vary worldwide, between different
Australian data on the health issue
Local data on the health issue (eg, how do figures vary state by state, and between
Local Government Authorities, or between rural/urban areas) NB: this data may not
be available for all issues.
Which particular groups are most vulnerable in relation to the issue? This is where
you might choose to focus your summary on the most significant patterns of health
inequalities in the data.
o Does the issue affect women more than men, or affect men and women
o Does the issue have different patterns in relation to different age groups?
o Is an issue more prevalent in certain areas (for example, particular Local
Government Authorities within South Australia, or in rural or urban areas,
State by State, etc.)?
o Does the issue impact more on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
than non-Indigenous people?
Provide tables to illustrate the patterns discussed in the summary – and ensure they
are all labelled with a title and source (reference).
Include reference to a minimum of TWO academic journal articles that also discuss
the epidemiological data in relation to your chosen health issue
Health Statistics Summary Outline:
Introduction (approximately 100wds)
Main body (approximately 800wds)
Conclusion (approximately 100wds)
Reference list (minimum of 6 sources, including minimum of 2 journal articles)
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