The third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (National Guide) is a joint initiative of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). The National Guide is a practical resource intended for all health professionals delivering primary healthcare to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples. Its purpose is to provide health professionals with an accessible, userfriendly guide to best practice in preventive healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
- New recommendations include considering intermittent oral nicotine replacement therapy for pregnant women, after explaining risks and benefits; as well as establishing a system at the health service to document and routinely update the smoking status of all patients.
- Includes two new topics (‘Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder’ and ‘Preventing child maltreatment – Supporting families to optimise child safety and wellbeing’) and a significant number of key changes under ‘Anaemia’, ‘Growth failure’ and ‘Childhood kidney disease’.
- New recommendations on immunisation for pneumococcal disease prevention and influenza, and behavioural recommendations such as advising weight reduction for people who have asthma and obesity or overweight. New environmental recommendations for workers in high-risk workplaces, where exposure to occupational dusts and chemicals is high.
- Exploration of cancer prevention and treatment, such as lung cancer, cervical cancer prevention through new immunisation and screening recommendations for HPV, new immunisations and screening recommendations for liver cancer, and new chemoprophylaxis recommendation for breast cancer.
The National Guide makes specific recommendations regarding the elements of a preventive health assessment across the lifecycle. The recommendations aim to prevent disease, detect early and unrecognised disease, and promote health in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population while allowing for variations based on regional and local circumstances. The health status of Torres Strait Islander peoples is very similar to that of the Aboriginal population, and the information in the National Guide can be applied to both population groups