Closing the Gaps: competing estimates of Indigenous Australian life expectancy in the scientific literature

Rosenstock, Amanda, Mukandi, Bryan, Zwi, Anthony B. and Hill, Peter S. (2013) Closing the Gaps: competing estimates of Indigenous Australian life expectancy in the scientific literature. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 37 4: 356-364. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12084


Author Rosenstock, Amanda
Mukandi, Bryan
Zwi, Anthony B.
Hill, Peter S.
Title Closing the Gaps: competing estimates of Indigenous Australian life expectancy in the scientific literature
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1326-0200
1753-6405
Publication date 2013-08
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1753-6405.12084
Open Access Status
Volume 37
Issue 4
Start page 356
End page 364
Total pages 9
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and other Australians within a generation is central to national Indigenous reform policy (Closing the Gap). Over time, various methods of estimating Indigenous life expectancy and with that, the life expectancy gap, have been adopted with differing, albeit non-comparable results. We present data on the extent of the gap and elucidate the pattern of use and interpretations of the different estimates of the gap, between 2007 and 2012.

Methods: An extensive search was conducted for all peer-reviewed health publications citing estimates of and/or discussing the life expectancy of Indigenous Australians, for the period 2007-2012.

Results: Five predominant patterns of citation of the gap estimates were identified: 20 years, 17 years, 15-20 years, 13 years, and 11.5 years for males and 9.7 years for females. Some authors misinterpret the most recent estimates as reflecting improvement from the 17-year figure, rather than the result of different methods of estimation. Support for the direct methods used to calculate Indigenous life expectancy is indicated.

Conclusions and Implications: A specific estimate of the life expectancy gap has not been established among stakeholders in Indigenous health. Agreement on the magnitude of the gap is arguably needed in order to evaluate strategies aimed at improving health outcomes for Indigenous Australians. Moreover, measuring progress towards 'closing the gap' depends on the availability of comparable estimates, using the same techniques of measurement to assess changes over time.
Keyword Indigenous
Australian
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Life expectancy
Mortality
Longevity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 20 Aug 2013, 07:51:07 EST by Dr Bryan Mukandi on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit