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Non-communicable diseases and implications for medical practice in Australia: a framework for analysis

Justin McNab, Carmen Huckel Schneider and Stephen Leeder
Med J Aust 2014; 201 (1 Suppl): S29-S32. || doi: 10.5694/mja14.00161

Summary

  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become leading causes of mortality and morbidity as part of historical epidemiological, demographic and nutritional transitions.
  • There has been considerable historical analysis of the immediate and underlying causes of this change in the impacts of communicable diseases and NCDs, but far less historical analysis of how this transition has shaped medical practice.
  • We lay out a framework for future historical analysis by proposing four domains of inquiry into key areas of change: changes in the concept of disease; evolution of medical technology; changes in workforce, including variation in roles and emerging areas of specialisation; and changes in health care structures including models of care, government responses and transitioning health systems.
  • Our aim is to encourage analysis that takes into account key features in each of the four domains, thus enabling a more complete understanding of why, how and under what circumstances NCDs have had an effect on medical practice.

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  • Justin McNab
  • Carmen Huckel Schneider
  • Stephen Leeder

  • Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

Stephen Leeder is the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia.

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