Does evidence influence policy? Resource allocation and the Indigenous Burden of Disease study

Doran, Christopher M., Ling, Rod, Searles, Andrew and Hill, Peter (2016) Does evidence influence policy? Resource allocation and the Indigenous Burden of Disease study. Australian Health Review, 40 6: 705-715. doi:10.1071/AH15105


Author Doran, Christopher M.
Ling, Rod
Searles, Andrew
Hill, Peter
Title Does evidence influence policy? Resource allocation and the Indigenous Burden of Disease study
Journal name Australian Health Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0156-5788
1449-8944
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AH15105
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 40
Issue 6
Start page 705
End page 715
Total pages 11
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Objective. The Indigenous Burden of Disease (IBoD) report is the most comprehensive assessment of Indigenous disease burden in Australia. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential effect of the IBoD report on Australian Indigenous health policy, service expenditure and research funding. Findings have significance for understanding factors that may influence Indigenous health policy.
Formatted abstract
Objective: The Indigenous Burden of Disease (IBoD) report is the most comprehensive assessment of Indigenous disease burden in Australia. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential effect of the IBoD report on Australian Indigenous health policy, service expenditure and research funding. Findings have significance for understanding factors that may influence Indigenous health policy.

Methods: The potential effect of the IBoD report was considered by: (1) conducting a text search of pertinent documents published by the federal government, Council of Australian Governments and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) and observing the quantity and quality of references to IBoD; (2) examining data on government Indigenous healthcare expenditure for trends consistent with the findings and policy implications of the IBoD report; and (3) examining NHMRC Indigenous grant allocation trends consistent with the findings and policy implications of the IBoD report.

Results: Of 110 government and NHMRC documents found, IBoD was cited in 27. Immediately after publication of the IBoD report, federal and state governments increased Indigenous health spending (relative to non-Indigenous), notably for community health and public health at the state level. Expenditure on Indigenous hospital separations for chronic diseases also increased. These changes are broadly consistent with the findings of the IBoD report on the significance of chronic disease and the need to address certain risk factors. However, there is no evidence that such changes had a causal connection with the IBoD study. After publication of the IBoD report, changes in NHMRC Indigenous research funding showed little consistency with the findings of the IBoD report.

Conclusions: The present study found only indirect and inconsistent correlational evidence of the potential influence of the IBoD report on Indigenous health expenditure and research funding. Further assessment of the potential influence of the IBoD report on Indigenous health policy will require more targeted research, including interviews with key informants involved in developing health policy.
Keyword Health Care Sciences & Services
Health Policy & Services
Health Care Sciences & Services
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Created: Sat, 16 Jan 2016, 00:42:48 EST by Associate Professor Peter Hill on behalf of School of Public Health