Hospital admissions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians due to interpersonal violence, July 1999 to June 2004
Article first published online: 2 JUN 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2009 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 33, Issue 3, pages 215–222, June 2009
How to Cite
Berry, J. G., Harrison, J. E. and Ryan, P. (2009), Hospital admissions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians due to interpersonal violence, July 1999 to June 2004. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 33: 215–222. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2009.00378.x
- Issue published online: 2 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 2 JUN 2009
- Submitted: June 2008 Revision requested: December 2008 Accepted: February 2009
- Australian Aborigines;
- family violence;
- rural health;
- socio-economic factors
Objective: To compare the incidence of injury-related hospitalisations and the injury profiles for interpersonal violence, in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations of Australia.
Method: Descriptive analysis of the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD), using data for the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland for the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2004.
Results: Indigenous people were twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to be hospitalised for injury (age-standardised rate ratio [SRR] 2.26, 95% CI 2.24–2.29), and had a 17-fold greater hospitalisation rate for interpersonal violence (SRR, 16.9, 95% CI 16.6–17.3). Indigenous males and females were most commonly injured by a family member or intimate partner and females constituted 54% of Indigenous cases. Most non-Indigenous cases were males (82%), most commonly injured by stranger(s). Head injuries by bodily force were the most frequent injuries. Age-standardised hospitalisation rates of interpersonal violence increased with remoteness of usual residence for Indigenous people and, less so, for others.
Conclusion: The largest differential between Indigenous and non-Indigenous injury-related hospitalisations was for interpersonal violence, particularly for women. About half the excess morbidity from interpersonal violence among Indigenous people is due to factors associated with remote living.
Implications: Culturally appropriate interventions that tackle a wide range of social and economic issues are needed to mitigate Indigenous interpersonal violence.