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Use of eye care services by Indigenous Australian adults

Anna-Lena M R Arnold, Lucy Busija, Jill E Keeffe and Hugh R Taylor
Med J Aust 2011; 194 (10): 537-538.

To the Editor: Indigenous Australians have a higher risk of vision loss from preventable and treatable causes than non-Indigenous Australians1 and have been reported to attend eye care services at a lower rate than non-Indigenous Australians.2 Here, we report results from the National Indigenous Eye Health Survey1 which indicate that many Indigenous Australians with vision problems have accessed eye care services but not as frequently as recommended by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), particularly for high-risk groups of patients with diabetes.3,4

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  • Anna-Lena M R Arnold1
  • Lucy Busija1
  • Jill E Keeffe1
  • Hugh R Taylor2

  • 1 Population Health Unit, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: jillek@unimelb.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

We particularly acknowledge the contributions to this manuscript of the following staff from the Population Health Unit at the Centre for Eye Research Australia: Nicolas Goujon (International Research Fellow), Sarah Fox (Project Coordinator) and Jing Xie (Senior Biostatistician).

  • 1. Taylor HR, Xie J, Fox S, et al. The prevalence and causes of vision loss in Indigenous Australians: the National Indigenous Eye Health Survey. Med J Aust 2010; 192: 312-318. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Hecker R. A review of eye health services for aboriginal communities in NSW. Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1998.
  • 3. National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. National guide to a preventive health assessment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Melbourne: Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2005.
  • 4. National Health and Medical Research Council. Clinical guidelines for the management of diabetic retinopathy. Canberra: NHMRC, 2008.
  • 5. Keeffe JE, Weih LM, McCarty CA, Taylor HR. Utilisation of eye care services by urban and rural Australians. Br J Ophthalmol 2002; 86: 24-27.

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