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The Gudaga Study: contributing to reform of perinatal and early childhood services for Aboriginal infants and their families

2010 PHC Research Conference: Symposia abstract

Aims & rationale/Objectives
The aim of this symposium is to
- present research findings for urban Aboriginal infants until 12 months of age;
- to compare and contrast these findings with those of other related studies of Aboriginal infants; and
- to discuss the implications of these findings for the Australian primary health care reform agenda.
The Gudaga Study is a birth cohort study comprising Aboriginal infants born in an urban setting between October 2005 and May 2007 and followed up over time. At 12 months all infants received a comprehensive health and development assessment.

The results to be presented during the symposium include maternal and infant birth outcomes, breast feeding initiation and duration, receipt of a Universal Health Nurse Home Visit following delivery, and developmental outcomes using the Griffiths Mental Development Scales.

There are a number of overarching factors that are emerging from these data. These include the consistency of the set of risk factors that predict poorer outcomes for mothers and infants, the usefulness of causal pathway approaches that allow consideration of the context in which these infants live, and the need for interventions that take a holistic, whole of life approach to address these identified risk factors.

An expert panel will discuss the implications of these results for policy and practice.
Relevance to conference theme
Currently significant reform is underway within the Australian health care system including primary care and actions to close the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people including infants. The Gudaga study has demonstrated the importance of population wide research to systematically describe the health, development, and service needs of Aboriginal infants.
Presentation type
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Audio presentation
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Comino E, Kemp L, Harris M, Harris E, Knight J. (2010). The Gudaga Study: contributing to reform of perinatal and early childhood services for Aboriginal infants and their families. In: 2010 Primary Health Care Research Conference: Program & Abstracts. Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, Australia.

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