Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Deadly Choices™ community health events: a health promotion initiative for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Claire Malseed A B D , Alison Nelson A B , Robert Ware A C , Ian Lacey A and Keiron Lander A

A The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, 23 Edgar St, Bowen Hills, Brisbane, Qld 4006, Australia.

B Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

C School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, Brisbane, Qld 4006, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: clairemalseed@gmail.com

Australian Journal of Primary Health 20(4) 379-383 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY14041
Submitted: 1 March 2014  Accepted: 14 July 2014   Published: 29 September 2014

Abstract

The present study was an evaluation of the effectiveness of Deadly Choices™ community events for improving participants’ short-term knowledge of chronic disease and risk factors, and increasing community engagement with local health services. Surveys were completed directly before and after participating in health education activities (pre and post surveys, respectively) assessing knowledge of chronic diseases and risk factors at three Deadly Choices community events and four National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) events in south-east Queensland where Deadly Choices health education activities took place. An audit trail was conducted at two Deadly Choices community events in Brisbane to identify the proportion of participants who undertook a health screen at the event who then followed up for a Medicare-funded health check (MBS item 715) or other appointment at an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clinic in the local area within 2 months. Results were compared with a sample of participants who attended one Deadly Choices community event but did not complete a health screen. There were 472 community members who completed a pre and post survey. All knowledge scores significantly improved between baseline and follow up. Although based on a small sample, the audit trail results suggest individuals who participated in a health screen at the community day were approximately twice as likely to go back to a clinic to receive a full health check or have an alternative appointment compared with attendees who did not participate in a screen. Community events that include opportunities for health education and health screening are an effective strategy to improve chronic disease health literacy skills and appear to have the potential to increase community engagement with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.


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