Reducing alcohol-related injury and violence in rural Aboriginal communities

Date Commenced:
01/2014
Expected Date of Completion:
08/2016
Project Supporters:

NSW Health – Aboriginal Injury Prevention and Safety Demonstration Program

Drug Type:
image - Broken Beer Bottle Square
Project Members
Project Collaborators: External

Associate Professor Melissa Haswell-Elkins
Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit, UNSW

Stacey Meredith
Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service

Joanne Clarke
Murrin Bridge Aboriginal Health Service

Professor Christopher Doran
Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle

Dr Anton Clifford
School of Population Health and Community Medicine, University of Queensland

Project Main Description

This project will examine the cost-effectiveness of a community empowerment and positive reinforcement intervention for reducing alcohol-related injury and violence among Aboriginal people in two rural locations in NSW. Investigators will work with local Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs) to implement and evaluate the intervention in both of the locations.

Rationale

Aboriginal Australians experience a disproportionately high burden of alcohol-related injury and violence compared to the general population: alcohol-related violence is 6 to 9 times higher for Aboriginal males and up to 6 to 20 times higher for Aboriginal females, compared to the general Australian population. Injury and violence are two main contributors to alcohol-related mortality among Aboriginal Australians, which is a main contributor to the overall health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. These elevated rates of alcohol-related harm among Aboriginal Australians require a targeted approach. Evaluations of Aboriginal-specific alcohol interventions  have typically been supply reduction or education strategies. Less than one quarter of published evaluations of alcohol interventions conducted in Aboriginal communities specifically targeted reductions in injury and violence and few were implemented in rural communities. Of those evaluations, few studies have employed randomisation or a comparison group in their methodology. As such, there is a need for rigorous cost-effectiveness evaluations of interventions targeting reductions in alcohol-related injury and violence in geographically diverse Aboriginal communities. 

Aims

To quantify the cost-effectiveness of an integrated community empowerment and positive reinforcement intervention for reducing alcohol-related injury and violence among Aboriginal people in two rural locations in NSW. 

More specifically, in both target locations, the intervention aims to:

  • Reduce the proportion of Aboriginal people admitted to hospital for alcohol-related injury
  • Reduce the proportion of Aboriginal people arrested for alcohol-related violence
  • Reduce the proportion of Aboriginal people experiencing alcohol-related injury or violence 
Design and Method

The intervention will be evaluated using a multiple baseline (interrupted time series) design. The two participating locations will be allocated to commence the intervention at 6 and 12 months. Baseline data on community level alcohol-related injury and violence will be collected. The intervention will comprise strategies decided by an implementation committee that includes local representatives from the AMS, council, police, hospital, Medicare Local, and Local Health District.

The intervention will be delivered to individuals, families and population groups most likely to benefit from participation. Routinely collected data will assess changes in alcohol-related hospital admissions, emergency department presentations, and crime. Group interviews with community members and key stakeholders will assess experiences of alcohol-related injury and violence. The cost-effectiveness analysis will adopt standardised methods that are international best-practice.

Benefits

Improved wellbeing of Aboriginal people in NSW; greater knowledge about effective approaches for reducing injury in Aboriginal populations.

Project Supporters

NSW Health – Aboriginal Injury Prevention and Safety Demonstration Program

Drug Type
Project Status
Current
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