Highlights in this issue
Article first published online: 5 FEB 2013
© 2013 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2013 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 37, Issue 1, page 6, February 2013
How to Cite
Robinson, P. (2013), Highlights in this issue. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 37: 6. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12022
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 5 FEB 2013
Journal editors inhabit a world of thoughtful authors, but some contributors to the Journal are exceptional. One of these was Gavin Mooney, and this time it is our sad task to include obituaries to this outstanding public health structural thinker and his partner Delys Weston, an environmental scientist. The deaths of these critical thinkers, and others such as Konrad Jamrozik who died in 2010, are a major loss to public health; Gavin and Konrad were both highly valued ANZJPH Editorial Board members. Gavin's latest and last contribution to ANZJPH was in the December 2012 issue when he spearheaded a series of commentaries on Health Equity, also one of Konrad's passions. We are pleased that the sections in this February 2013 issue reflect their interests and work. Also of note, and to remind us of Delys's work, our cover photograph reflects the challenges of our climate and of climate change, which we covered in a previous editorial.1,2
We are also saying farewell to Jeanne Daly and Sandy Thompson. We thank them for their contributions and will miss their thoughtful contributions as editors. In their contribution on page 3, they pinpoint some of the important tasks of which an editor must be mindful. Jeanne has been at the Journal since 2000 and it is hard to imagine it without her, but we also look forward to the leadership of John Lowe, who resumes the role of managing editor after a long break, so we are in experienced hands.
We concentrate this issue on three areas, Measuring Health, Population Inequality, and Safety. In our section on Measuring Health, three studies are about the use of health scoring tools. Graeme Hawthorne and colleagues, Richard Norman and colleagues, and Margreet Frieling and colleagues have each undertaken studies related to quality-of-life (HRQoL) scores, the first group with self-reported health-related quality of life in Australians, and the second with a report of the SF-36 scores derived from the most recent wave of the Australian HILDA (Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics Survey) which have been converted into SF-6D scores; and the third to provide normal populations scores for New Zealanders using the SF-26v2 and SF-12v2. Between then they provide us with population norms for the HRQoL, SF-6D, and for SF-36v2 and SF-12v2 for New Zealand which, interestingly, are different from other countries’ scores. Alison Marwick and a team from Victoria's Health Intelligence Unit provide us with an analysis of the relationship of obesity and SES, showing that both BMI and sex are important indicators for overweight and need to be considered separately. Katia Ferrar and her trans-Tasman team have also been considering the health of New Zealanders, this time adolescents, using cross-sectional data in time-use clusters to examine physical activity and diet, and show some interesting differences associated with ethnicity and sex.
Population Inequalities are addressed in three papers. Ratilal Laloo and Queensland colleagues have considered the importance of the provision of dental care through supervised clinical placements in remote areas by final year dental students through an audit of Australian Dental Association data, showing that, over several years, it was possible to increase restorative treatment to these populations, an important improvement in services. Jiabi Qin and colleagues from China conducted a cross-sectional study using a questionnaire and in-depth interviews to investigate attitudes towards HIV/AIDS-affected people in rural China, finding stigma to be common. Nathalie Auger and a team from French-speaking Canada and France measured the levels of large birth weights in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Quebecers, and found that Indigenous peoples had higher rates or macrosomia – and that the gap is widening.
The last section, on Safety, includes four papers. Angela Volkov and a team from the Victorian and West Australian Cancer Councils have used an imaginative cross-sectional design followed trends to follow sun-safe behaviours in Australian youth and adults, and show that the intention to protect skin from sun damage has improved, and actual damage from sunburn has also improved, although there is certainly still room for improvement. Wade Sinclair and Jarrod Brownsberger from Queensland recruited 15 council outdoor workers to investigate whether wearing long trousers increases body temperature, which apparently it does not, with a message for worksafe behaviour. Paul Agius and an international team consider the association between excessive alcohol consumption and sexual behaviour in teenagers, and find an unsurprising relationship between them. Lawrence Brown and an international team, using generalised estimation equation models and publicly available annual report data, have measured the relationship between energy price and Ambulance system performance over 10 years, and show that performance drops when prices rise, and this could affect service users adversely.
Letters, about women's rates of heart disease in remote areas of Australia, the reliability of telephone surveys to provide risk data in ATSI people, Aboriginal children and dental service access, Aboriginal people's access to spectacles, and Cider and alcohol tax complete our research content. Our issue is rounded off with two book reviews.