Universal Journal of Public Health Vol. 5(1), pp. 32 - 39
DOI: 10.13189/ujph.2017.050105
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Anaemia Health Literacy of Community Members and Health Practitioners Knowledge of Best Practice Guidelines in a Remote Australian Aboriginal Community


Thérèse Kearns *, Felicity Ward , Stefanie Puszka , Roslyn Gundjirryirr , Bonnie Moss , Ross Bailie
Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia

ABSTRACT

Anaemia is a critical public health problem in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for which the health literacy of community members and health practitioners is unknown. Worldwide, pregnant women and children have the highest anaemia rates and are the major groups targeted for screening and intervention programs. In the Northern Territory, Australia, 15% of Aboriginal mothers are anaemic during pregnancy and up to 25 % of children aged 0-5 years are anaemic, with the highest prevalence of 31% identified in those aged 6-11 months. Anaemia can have adverse effects on physical and cognitive development in the early years and has long-term implications for the development of chronic diseases later in life. The aim of this study was to assess anaemia health literacy of community members and health practitioner's knowledge of anaemia best practice guidelines in a remote Aboriginal community where English is not the first language. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with 39 community members and 12 health practitioners. Among community members there were mixed levels of anaemia health literacy with the majority assessed as having 'good' literacy. Health practitioners had a 'very good' level of anaemia knowledge that was excellent for one group.

KEYWORDS
Anaemia, Anaemia Knowledge, Anaemia Health Literacy, Health Practitioners, Best Practice Guidelines

Cite this paper
Thérèse Kearns , Felicity Ward , Stefanie Puszka , Roslyn Gundjirryirr , Bonnie Moss , Ross Bailie . "Anaemia Health Literacy of Community Members and Health Practitioners Knowledge of Best Practice Guidelines in a Remote Australian Aboriginal Community." Universal Journal of Public Health 5.1 (2017) 32 - 39. doi: 10.13189/ujph.2017.050105.