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Determinants Of Health Factors Population Of Australia

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The health of the indigenous population of Australia is generally worse off than the health of the non-Indigenous people when it comes to the social determinants of health. In the initial life, it is manifested in higher rates of low patterns if disrupted growth of children and lower rates of low birth weight.  This report illustrates the state of health of Indigenous people in comparison with the non-Indigenous people (Alligood, 2014, p. 12).

The report also describes factors that determine the health of the Indigenous people of Australia.  The implications of these factors on the lives and health of the Indigenous inhabitants is also discussed in brief in the report.

The health services that the non-indigenous people can access are not accessible to the Indigenous people of Australia. This adds to one of the higher levels of disadvantage for the lives of indigenous people of Australia. In most of the cases, it is because the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait people live in the remote locations than the non-Indigenous people where the all the health services are offered in the urban location (Billings & Halstead, 2015).

Employment and income

Employment and income play significant roles in the obtaining the access to better health for the Indigenous people in Australia. Most of the indigenous people of Australia are not privileged with higher income as the employment scope for them is very limited. The rate of education for these indigenous people of Australia is extremely low both the in quality and quality which has resulted in low income for them.

The indigenous people may not be exposed to the similar opportunities so as to obtain healthy food like the non-indigenous people can get. The stores have very less stock of food items like whole meal bread and reduced fat milk as people do not have that much income to buy these products most of the time. Status of the self-assessed health and employment are closely related.  Employment is also associated with the behavioural risk factors for the growth of the chronic disease inflicting upon the Indigenous people in Australia (Blais, 2015). According to the data collected from the 2012-2013 AATSIHS, the Indigenous people who were from the age of 15 to 64  who were not employed in the labour force were found to be significantly more prone to have poor health than those not- Indigenous people who were employed in the labour force (Butcher, et al., 2013, p. 15). 

The Indigenous people who aged between 15 to 64 and were employed were found to less prone to smoking tobacco on a regular basis. The 46% of the Indigenous people who aged from 15 to 64 and were unemployed smoked daily and had their health decrementing as compared to the 36% of the Indigenous people who were employed. 71% of the employed Indigenous people were not obese or overweight as compared to the 59% of those who were unemployed in the whole community and 57% of those who were not in the labour force (Butcher, et al., 2013).

The association of the poverty and employment with the status of health of the indigenous people can be analyzed from various ways.  Indigenous people who have been employed have are found out to be in good health as more people have the possibility of participating in the labour force if they are in good health. Half of the indigenous people of Australia in the age group of 15 are found out to have a personal income of $362 in a week as compared to $582 or less by the non- indigenous people in Australia. 42% of the Australian indigenous people belonging to the same aged group were employed which shows that higher is the employment rate, the less detriment the health of the Indigenous people is (Butcher, et al., 2013). 

Thus, the Indigenous Australian who are employed is having better health conditions than the Indigenous people who do not have employment. Hence, poor employment and poverty have been one of the leading factors of health deterioration of the Indigenous people of Australia.


Health behaviors and lifestyle

Excessive intake of alcohol has been found to have a lot of contribution towards the hampering of health of the Indigenous people in Australia. High doses of alcohol have been leading to many numbers of cases of coronary heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, high blood pressure, stroke, and pancreatitis.  The increased amount of alcohol on a regular basis by the Indigenous people in Australia has also led to many injuries resulting from drowning, homicide, and road accidents (Holloway & Galvin, 2016, p. 73).

Excessive consumption during pregnancy by the indigenous women population has resulted in bad health of the unborn child, miscarriage and many complications post pregnancy for both mother and child. Exposure to the tobacco smoke has also resulted in the risk of infections and development of asthma by the children and the other members living in a house with a regular smoker (Butcher, et al., 2013, p. 10). 

It was found out that 17% of the indigenous population of Australia belonging to the age group of 15 years and above who are involved in drinking, smoking and other illicit substances have the medium to high levels of health risks (Grohar-Murray, DiCroce & Langan, 2016, p. 83).

After the adjustments of the age, the proportion of the adults among the Indigenous population who are addicted to drinking, smoking and other drugs are exposed to high levels of major health issues in the Indigenous population of Australia. The indigenous people who are addicted to the illicit substances have been found out to be hospitalized for the mental and behavioural disorders associated with alcohol. 

The most common cases of mental and behavioural disorders that were found to relevant with the Indigenous people was acute intoxication due to which the indigenous people being hospitalized 15 times more than the rate of hospitalization in  the cases of non-Indigenous people of Australia (Hockenberry & Wilson, 2014). The rate of hospitalization and the liver disease due to alcohol is 9.4 times higher for the Indigenous masses than that for the non-Indigenous people of Australia. This shows that the explicit use alcohol, tobacco, illicit products have major implications on the health of the Indigenous people of Australia.



Education is the characteristic that is included under the socioeconomic factors of the population. Having the choices and opportunities of the education limits in a poor way will influence the factors that are related to health like lacking proper diet and the accessibility to the health care (Hockenberry & Wilson, 2014).

Getting access to the education is considered to be an important factor for the determinants of the health and the wellbeing of the individual and in turn, the lower education levels are linked often to the features such as the unemployment, housing of low quality, poverty, and the decreased access to the services of health (Education, 2014, p. 43). Three out of six COAG which are closing the targets of the Gap will relate the Indigenous education.

Status of education and health

Results obtained from the NATSISS in the year 2008 have shown that if the schooling is reaching for higher levels than it is associated positively with the health status. It has been depicted in the following figure:

  • The people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander who are under the age of 15 to 34 years who have completed level 12th were more likely to rate for the health in an excellent and very good manner when compared with that people who have left the school at the 9th standard or below that (59 per cent was compared with 49 per cent). Even those were considered to be less likely to have the rating of health as fair or poor (9 per cent compared with 16 per cent) (Lewis, et al., 2015).
  • While the overall health levels for the Indigenous Australians have been reported lower for the people who are aged by 35 years and more. People who have completed level 12th were more likely to rate their health as very good or excellent- 43 per cent, which is compared with the 25 per cent of the population who have completed only level 9th or below.

The associations between the levels of the psychological distress and the completion of the school have been found to be similar. The younger people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander who have completed the level 12th have been less likely to report of having high or very high levels of the psychological distress when compared with the ones who left the school at the level 9th or below that in this 29 per cent was compared with that 35 per cent. Among the population of Indigenous Australian who were aged around 35 years and more the proportions that were corresponding were found to be 20 per cent and 37 per cent respectively (Lewis, et al., 2015).

Figure 1: Self-reported health Status

Source: (Lewis, et al., 2015)

From the studies, it is understood that education is the principal factor for improving the conditions of health and wellbeing. For instance, education of higher levels is found to be connected with having the better understanding of the lifestyles and it being healthy and health care system being good. It also showed that mortality rates are higher for those individuals whose level of education was low, especially for those who are having smoking related diseases.

Those people who remained in school and have the tendency of smoking less will be more active and who consumes less alcohol all of these factors will reduce the risk of getting chronic diseases in adults (Lewis, et al., 2015).


Racism and racial discrimination

Many various forms are taken by racism. The characteristic of racial discrimination will be involving the acts such as if the individual is being treated unfairly or disparaged due to their color, nationality, race, descent, or the ethnic origin. A systematic occurrence of racism might happen as a result of the conditions, policies, and the practices which will affect the wide range of a group of people. High levels of racism are continued to be experienced by the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in Australia throughout the multiple settings. However, racial discrimination is really hard to measure (Potter, et al., 2016).

In between the levels of 16 per cent and 93 per cent the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have reported that they are experiencing the racial discrimination. These conclusions have been drawn from the nature of the study from the questions that were asked and the responses that were given depending on the questions.

The research conducted by Australians shows that people who are experiencing the racial discrimination are being linked to the poor self-assessment of the status of health, diseases that are related to stress, psychological distress, smoking, diabetes, and the usage of the substance and in general it is having the impact in a negative way of the health (Yoder-Wise, 2014, p. 99).

Further, research that has been conducted recently has shown that three people out of the four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are experiencing the racial discrimination regularly while evaluating the primary health care, it has been noticed that some of the people were not being diagnosed and are not given the treatment for the disease in the early stages (Stuart, 2014).

From the evidence, it is suggested that the racism and the racial discrimination has been found to affect the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (AIHW 2009d) with various adverse health conditions. The term discrimination in this context will refer to the situations or the places that were reported self at which the individual as a result of being Indigenous have received an unfair treatment (ABS 2010e).



In the context of Aboriginal, health is considered to be multifaceted and complex in which the physical health of the people, the social and the emotional health and the wellbeing of the entire communities are included. In this essay, the discussion was progressing on the determinants of the health factors on how they impact on the health and well-being of a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

It has been designed for providing the background information in a broad way and to promote the conversation regarding the various factors and their influence on the health and wellbeing of the individuals. The health issues of the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander with respect to the factors have been discussed. Though it does not provide the overall picture of the present health system or the experiences that are faced by the Indigenous Australian it briefs out the situations.



Alligood, M.R 2014, Nursing theorists and their work, Elsevier Health Sciences, pp 7-15

Billings, D.M & Halstead, J.A, 2015, Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Blais, K, 2015. Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives, Pearson.

Butcher, H.K, Bulechek, G.M, Dochterman, J.M.M & Wagner, C, 2013,  Nursing interventions classification (NIC), Elsevier Health Sciences, pp 10-15

Butterworth, T & Faugier, J, 2013, Clinical supervision and mentorship in nursing, Springer.

Education, P.N,  2014, Advancing Nursing Excellence for Public Protection, pp 23-50

Giger, J.N, 2016, Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Grohar-Murray, M.E, DiCroce, H.R & Langan, J.C, 2016, Leadership and management in nursing. Pearson, pp 45-90

Hockenberry, M.J & Wilson, D, 2014. Wong's nursing care of infants and children, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Holloway, I & Galvin, K, 2016, Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare, John Wiley & Sons, pp 67-90

Lewis, S.L, Maltas, J, Dirksen, S.R & Bucher, L, 2015, Study guide for medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and management of clinical problems, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Moorhead, S, Johnson, M, Maas, M.L & Swanson, E, 2014,  Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC): measurement of health outcomes, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Parahoo, K, 2014, Nursing research: principles, process and issues, Palgrave Macmillan.

Potter, P.A, Perry, A.G, Stockert, P & Hall, A, 2016, Fundamentals of nursing, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Stuart, G.W, 2014, Principles and practice of psychiatric nursing, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Yoder-Wise, P.S, 2014, Leading and managing in nursing, Elsevier Health Sciences, pp 45-10


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