21 June 2012
Melbourne health study starts
An RMIT University research project is examining intergenerational patterns of health attitudes and behaviour in Melbourne's community to help improve health services across Victoria and assist national health policy development.
Dr Stavros Ktenas, who is conducting the research as part of his doctoral thesis in the School of Health Sciences, said the study would also identify integral health needs, situated in broad cultural and social contexts.
Volunteers aged 18 up from all groups were being encouraged to complete the survey, which takes less than 40 minutes to complete.
Dr Ktenas said the study would examine attitudes toward both mainstream health care and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
"There is currently no data for how and why Melbourne's community, across multiple generations, use different elements of the health care system," he said.
"While everyday medicine, offered in the main by general practitioners, provides the backbone of health management for most Australians, CAM therapies are gaining both acceptance and higher use.
"It is estimated that $2.3 billion is spent annually in Australia on CAM-related health services."
Dr Ktenas said attitudes and knowledge about health services largely drove people's behaviour in managing their own health and wellbeing.
"This study - in the context of a theoretical model for predicting behaviour based on individual and psychological variables - will provide valuable understandings for improving the health behaviours of the Victorian community," he said.
The RMIT co-chief investigators on the project are Associate Professor Andrew Francis, Associate Professor John Reece and Dr Sophia Xenos.
Associate Professor Francis said the study would help inform the development of health care policy in Australia as it relates to the behaviour and needs of people from different age groups.
For a hard copy of the survey phone (03) 9925 7782 or email.
Associate Professor John Reece.
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