Guy Cameron

PhD, Bbiomedsci(hons), Bmedsci

Audit of Hunter New England Ear, Nose & Throat Surgical Interventions

Status: Funded! ($5,670).
An extensive 5-year (2015-2019) database of ENT hospital admissions across HNELHD has been granted to our team to inform future research applications in ear and hearing health of children. Similarly, we have acquired a 5-year (2015-2019) database of ED presentations on ENT and respiratory illness.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are disproportionally affected by diseases of the ear, nose and throat (ENT). These issues are particularly prevalent in childhood. In the first few years of life, up to 1 in 4 Indigenous Australians will suffer from an inflammatory condition of the middle ear, collectively known as Otitis Media. Whilst non- Indigenous children may also experience ENT issues, the impact to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is substantially higher in terms of severity, and duration. Indeed, these conditions cause extensive burden on the affected children and their families. Furthermore, there are several barriers to resolution of disease including lengthy time for diagnosis and access to an ENT specialist. In order to understand whether these issues are being impacted over time, a clinical audit is required.

There have been few studies of ENT health across the HNELHD, even though the Greater Newcastle, Mid-North Coast and New England regions collectively have a significant Indigenous population. Understanding the health of the residents and the factors that influence health outcomes is an important directive for high quality translational research. This Indigenous led project will provide the evidence for new research projects to improve ear health for all children in our health service regions.

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