Reviewing the Evidence
While it is agreed that different models of healthcare and approaches to prevention are needed in rural Australia to deal with delivery, access, cost, capability and capacity challenges, the historic lack of funding for rural health and medical research means that there is little evidence to guide Australian health services and policymakers about what works to improve rural health.
To this aim, the Rapid Review Sub Committee of the Spinifex Network (SNRRSC) have commissioned, co-ordinated and funded the production of 10 rapid reviews setting out the evidence on priority topics in rural health.
What are the 10 rapid review topics?
The 10 rapid review topics are:
1. A review of evidence on interventions to improve the availability & promotion of healthy food in rural communities
2. Food security amongst regional and rural First Nations peoples across Australia
3. Heat health risks to rural and remote communities
4. What health or social care interventions are effective in supporting the physical and mental health needs of rural populations experiencing natural disasters?
5. Interventions to minimise the impact of Bushfire and Drought on the wellbeing of Children Living in Rural and Remote Australia
6. De-prescribing prescription opioids in rural, remote and Indigenous populations
7. The availability and quality of health workforce data sources in Australia
8. The role of national policies to address rural health workforce maldistribution: A scoping review
9. The Importance of Place Identity in Building a Sustainable Australian Rural Health Workforce
10. Intercultural communication with Aboriginal health service users in rural and remote health care settings
More information is provided below.
Why rapid reviews?
Rapid reviews provide a focused and purpose-driven summary of the current and relevant research evidence for a defined question to provide key stakeholders and policy-makers with timely information on the state of the science to inform policy and practice decisions.
What did the process involve?
In order to select the 10 rapid review topics, a process was undertaken where Spinifex Network members nomiated or expressed their interest in particular topics relevant to rural health.
The Spinifex Network Rapid Review Sub-Committee then assessed the nominations and selected the best 10 to proceed to review.
The Spinifex Network Rapid Review Sub-Committee included:
- Chair: A/Prof Sonya Osborne, USQ
- Dr Vivian Isaac, Flinders University
- Prof Christine Jorm, NSWRHP
- Dr Donella Piper, NSWRHP
- Dr Olutoyin Sowole, ACN
- A/Prof Vincent Versace, Deakin University
Our thanks go to the SNRR Sub-Committee and all Spinifex Network members who submitted their ideas for review.
What happens to the completed reviews?
Snapshots of all reviews will be published on the Spinifex Network website and used to inform policy and practice. Selected reviews from those commissioned will be collated and published in a special edition of a refereed journal.
For those reviews that are not included in the special edition, review authors may submit their reviews for publication in a journal of their choice in addition to them being made available on the Spinifex Network website.
How can I find out more?
If you have any other questions, please contact the SNRRSC Representative:
Dr Donella Piper
Mobile: 0402 444 634
10 Rapid Review Topics
Theme: Food Security
Theme: Heat Health
Theme: Drought/Natural Disaster/Bushfire
Topic 4: What health or social care interventions are effective in supporting the physical and mental health needs of rural populations experiencing natural disasters?
Team Lead & Affiliation: Professor Nick Goodwin
Institutional Affiliations: Central Coast Research Institute for Integrated Care & Central Coast Local Health District NSW
Topic 5: Interventions to minimise the impact of Bushfire and Drought on the wellbeing of Children Living in Rural and Remote Australia
Team Lead & Affiliation: Associate Professor Michael Curtin
Institutional Affiliations: School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University
Theme: Opioid Prescribing
Topic 6: De-prescribing prescription opioids in rural, remote and Indigenous populations
Team Lead & Affiliation: Dr Gena Lieschke
Institutional Affiliations: Hunter Integrated Pain Service, Hunter New England Local Health District, NSW
Theme: Rural Workforce
Theme: Communication with Aboriginal Cohorts
Topic 10: Intercultural communication with Aboriginal health service users in rural and remote health care settings
Team Lead & Affiliation: Dr Judith Lovell
Institutional Affiliations: College of Indigenous Future Arts and Society, Charles Darwin University