Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-14 (14)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
1.  Recent Advances in Omega-3: Health Benefits, Sources, Products and Bioavailability 
Nutrients  2014;6(9):3727-3733.
The joint symposium of The Omega-3 Centre and the Australasian Section American Oil Chemists Society; Recent Advances in Omega-3: Health Benefits, Sources, Products and Bioavailability, was held November 7, 2013 in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Over 115 attendees received new information on a range of health benefits, aquaculture as a sustainable source of supply, and current and potential new and novel sources of these essential omega-3 long-chain (LC, ≥C20) polyunsaturated fatty acid nutrients (also termed LC omega-3). The theme of “Food versus Fuel” was an inspired way to present a vast array of emerging and ground breaking Omega-3 research that has application across many disciplines. Eleven papers submitted following from the Omega-3 Symposium are published in this Special Issue volume, with topics covered including: an update on the use of the Omega-3 Index (O3I), the effects of dosage and concurrent intake of vitamins/minerals on omega-3 incorporation into red blood cells, the possible use of the O3I as a measure of risk for adiposity, the need for and progress with new land plant sources of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6ω3), the current status of farmed Australian and New Zealand fish, and also supplements, in terms of their LC omega-3 and persistent organic pollutants (POP) content, progress with cheap carbon sources in the culture of DHA-producing single cell organisms, a detailed examination of the lipids of the New Zealand Greenshell mussel, and a pilot investigation of the purification of New Zealand hoki liver oil by short path distillation. The selection of papers in this Special Issue collectively highlights a range of forward looking and also new and including positive scientific outcomes occurring in the omega-3 field.
PMCID: PMC4179185  PMID: 25255830
lipids; human health; aquaculture; long-chain omega-3; EPA; DHA
2.  Barriers and enablers for participation in healthy lifestyle programs by adolescents who are overweight: a qualitative study of the opinions of adolescents, their parents and community stakeholders 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:53.
Overweight or obesity during adolescence affects almost 25% of Australian youth, yet limited research exists regarding recruitment and engagement of adolescents in weight-management or healthy lifestyle interventions, or best-practice for encouraging long-term healthy behaviour change. A sound understanding of community perceptions, including views from adolescents, parents and community stakeholders, regarding barriers and enablers to entering and engaging meaningfully in an intervention is critical to improve the design of such programs.
This paper reports findings from focus groups and semi-structured interviews conducted with adolescents (n?=?44), parents (n?=?12) and community stakeholders (n?=?39) in Western Australia. Three major topics were discussed to inform the design of more feasible and effective interventions: recruitment, retention in the program and maintenance of healthy change. Data were analysed using content and thematic analyses.
Data were categorised into barriers and enablers across the three main topics. For recruitment, identified barriers included: the stigma associated with overweight, difficulty defining overweight, a lack of current health services and broader social barriers. The enablers for recruitment included: strategic marketing, a positive approach and subsidising program costs. For retention, identified barriers included: location, timing, high level of commitment needed and social barriers. Enablers for retention included: making it fun and enjoyable for adolescents, involving the family, having an on-line component, recruiting good staff and making it easy for parents to attend. For maintenance, identified barriers included: the high degree of difficulty in sustaining change and limited services to support change. Enablers for maintenance included: on-going follow up, focusing on positive change, utilisation of electronic media and transition back to community services.
This study highlights significant barriers for adolescents and parents to overcome to engage meaningfully with weight-management or healthy lifestyle programs. A number of enablers were identified to promote ongoing involvement with an intervention. This insight into specific contextual opinions from the local community can be used to inform the delivery of healthy lifestyle programs for overweight adolescents, with a focus on maximising acceptability and feasibility.
PMCID: PMC3942615  PMID: 24552207
Adolescent; Obesity; Intervention; Qualitative research
3.  Utility of stages of change construct in the planning of physical activity interventions among playgroup mothers 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:300.
The objective of this research was to assess the physical activity levels among a unique cohort of Western Australian (WA) mothers with young children who attend a WA Playgroup. Associated factors were also investigated, including self-efficacy for physical activity, social support for exercise, relevant socio-demographic correlates, as well as the stages of change construct within the Transtheoretical Model (TTM).
421 women completed a questionnaire assessing physical activity behaviours. Of these, 368 participants completed the relevant physical activity evaluation items. 82.5% and 17.5% of the sample were classified as active and inactive, respectively. Associations between physical activity status and exercise stage of change were found. Additional associations were established for partner support and self-efficacy for physical activity.
The majority of the sample was classified as active. Despite the high percentage of active participants, this study confirms the usefulness of the stages of change measure in that it can be utilised by health promotion practitioners to report physical activity behaviour and develop appropriate intervention strategies among a time poor and hard to reach population. Specifically the results are relevant to mothers in over 16,000 WA families who are involved with Playgroup WA programs. Interventions aimed at improving physical activity levels in mothers with young children should also consider the need to improve self-efficacy and social support.
PMCID: PMC3734053  PMID: 23895288
Physical activity; Mothers; Stages of change; Exercise
4.  Health promotion innovation in primary health care 
Previously, the main focus of primary health care practices was to diagnose and treat patients. The identification of risk factors for disease and the prevention of chronic conditions have become a part of everyday practice. This paper provides an argument for training primary health care (PHC) practitioners in health promotion, while encouraging them to embrace innovation within their practice to streamline the treatment process and improve patient outcomes. Electronic modes of communication, education and training are now commonplace in many medical practices. The PHC sector has a small window of opportunity in which to become leaders within the current model of continuity of care by establishing their role as innovators in the prevention, treatment and management of disease. Not only will this make their own jobs easier, it has the potential to significantly impact patient outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3575061  PMID: 23424004
Innovation; primary health care; health promotion
5.  Hepatitis C treatment – better outcomes through partner support 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2012;5(11):585-588.
Globally, it is estimated that 170 million people are living with hepatitis C and between three and four million are newly infected annually. In Australia, around 1% of people are living with chronic hepatitis C, with two-thirds of these being men.
This research aimed to determine the impact of hepatitis C treatment on partners of patients using in-depth exploratory techniques.
Four infected men and their partners (n= 8 participants) and three service providers were recruited and interviewed separately to identify the needs of female partners supporting patients with Hepatitis C. Discussion was based on the experiences of female partners during the treatment phase of male hepatitis C patients.
All participants recognised a need for greater assistance for partners of hepatitis C treatment patients. It was also recognised that strong social support improved treatment outcomes and helped to maintain the survival of family relationships during the intensive treatment phase.
Although this research was limited by size, it provides valuable insights into ways to enhance hepatitis C management outcomes beyond traditional medical treatment regimes, for example through formal partner support.
PMCID: PMC3518775  PMID: 23289048
Caregivers/caring; coping and adaptation; partners; hepatitis C.
6.  Rationale, design and methods for a staggered-entry, waitlist controlled clinical trial of the impact of a community-based, family-centred, multidisciplinary program focussed on activity, food and attitude habits (Curtin University’s Activity, Food and Attitudes Program—CAFAP) among overweight adolescents 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:471.
Current estimates place just under one quarter of adolescents in Australia as overweight or obese. Adolescence has been identified as a critical period for the development of obesity, yet despite this recognition, there is limited systematic research into or evaluation of interventions for overweight adolescents. Reviews have concluded that there is a substantive evidence gap for effective intervention, but physical activity, lifestyle change and family involvement have been identified as promising foci for treatment.
This paper reports on the development of a staggered-entry, waitlist controlled clinical trial to assess the impact of a multidisciplinary intervention aiming to change the poor health trajectory of overweight adolescents and help them avoid morbid obesity in adulthood—Curtin University’s Activity, Food and Attitudes Program (CAFAP). 96 adolescents, aged 11–16 years, and parents, will attend twice weekly during an 8 week intensive multidisciplinary program with maintenance follow-up focussed on improving activity, food and attitude habits. Follow-up assessments will be conducted immediately after completing the intensive program, and at 3, 6 and 12 months post intensive program. Main outcomes will be objectively-measured physical activity, sedentary behaviour and activity behaviours; food intake (measured by 3 day diary) and food behaviours; body composition, fitness and physical function; mental and social well-being (quality of life, mood and attitudes), and family functioning.
This trial will provide important information to understand whether a community based multidisciplinary intervention can have short and medium term effects on activity and food habits, attitudes, and physical and mental health status of overweight adolescents.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611001187932.
PMCID: PMC3439288  PMID: 22721261
Adolescent; Obesity; Intervention; Self-determination theory; Physical activity; Dietary intake; Attitudes
7.  Undergraduate student drinking and related harms at an Australian university: web-based survey of a large random sample 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:37.
There is considerable interest in university student hazardous drinking among the media and policy makers. However there have been no population-based studies in Australia to date. We sought to estimate the prevalence and correlates of hazardous drinking and secondhand effects among undergraduates at a Western Australian university.
We invited 13,000 randomly selected undergraduate students from a commuter university in Australia to participate in an online survey of university drinking. Responses were received from 7,237 students (56%), who served as participants in this study.
Ninety percent had consumed alcohol in the last 12 months and 34% met criteria for hazardous drinking (AUDIT score ≥ 8 and greater than 6 standard drinks in one sitting in the previous month). Men and Australian/New Zealand residents had significantly increased odds (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.9-2.3; OR: 5.2; 95% CI: 4.4-6.2) of being categorised as dependent (AUDIT score 20 or over) than women and non-residents. In the previous 4 weeks, 13% of students had been insulted or humiliated and 6% had been pushed, hit or otherwise assaulted by others who were drinking. One percent of respondents had experienced sexual assault in this time period.
Half of men and over a third of women were drinking at hazardous levels and a relatively large proportion of students were negatively affected by their own and other students' drinking. There is a need for intervention to reduce hazardous drinking early in university participation.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3398299  PMID: 22248011
8.  A critical review of nutrition resources for General Practitioners focusing on healthy diet, including seafood 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(12):694-699.
General practitioners (GPs) are considered a trusted and reliable source of health-related information including nutritional advice. Preliminary investigation found that GPs wanted evidence-based nutrition resources that could be used within a 10 minute consultation.
The aim of the study was to identify and critically review current resources available to GPs that promote seafood consumption within a healthy diet, as a preventative or treatment measure for common lifestyle or medical conditions.
English language resources currently available to GPs in 2008 were sourced through multiple avenues including: individual organisations; medical service networks; health information services and internet search engines. Assessment included critical review of: format; appropriateness for target groups; reference to seafood and supporting evidence; credibility; readability; and suitability for use by practitioners in a short consultation.
One hundred and twenty resources were identified. The majority (88.4%, n=106) of identified resource were available Electronically. Just over half (57.5%, n=69) of the resources were targeted at specific audiences. All of the resources made reference to the health benefits of regular consumption of fish (100%, n=120), 22.5% (n=27) made reference to seafood in general and 5% (n=6) made reference to fish oil. Only 15% (n=18) of the identified resources were suitable for use with the general Australian population at or below the recommended reading level of Year Eight. The majority (87.5%, n=105) of the identified resources were associated with credible sources of information about the health benefits of regular consumption of seafood.
This study found that the majority of resources available to GPs were not suitable for use with the general Australian population at the recommended reading level of Year 8 or lower. Whilst it is acknowledged that written health information alone cannot change health behaviours, it can provide accurate information to assist in making changes to behaviours with support from appropriate health care professionals.
PMCID: PMC3413969  PMID: 22905045
General Practitioners; nutrition education; seafood
9.  The Great Portion Debate 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(12):700-702.
PMCID: PMC3413970  PMID: 22905046
10.  The protocol of a randomized controlled trial for playgroup mothers: Reminder on Food, Relaxation, Exercise, and Support for Health (REFRESH) Program 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:648.
Mother's physical activity levels are relatively low, while their energy consumption is generally high resulting in 58% of Australian women over the age of 18 years being overweight or obese. This study aims to confirm if a low-cost, accessible playgroup based intervention program can improve the dietary and physical activity behaviours of mothers with young children.
The current study is a randomized controlled trial lifestyle (nutrition and physical activity) intervention for mothers with children aged between 0 to 5 years attending playgroups in Perth, Western Australia. Nine-hundred participants will be recruited and randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 450) and control (n = 450) groups. The study is based on the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), and the Precede-Proceed Framework incorporating goal setting, motivational interviewing, social support and self-efficacy. The six month intervention will include multiple strategies and resources to ensure the engagement and retention of participants. The main strategy is home based and will include a specially designed booklet with dietary and physical activity information, a muscle strength and flexibility exercise chart, a nutrition label reading shopping list and menu planner. The home based strategy will be supported by face-to-face dietary and physical activity workshops in the playgroup setting, posted and emailed bi-monthly newsletters, and monthly Short Message Service (SMS) reminders via mobile phones. Participants in the control group receive no intervention materials. Outcome measures will be assessed using data that will be collected at baseline, six months and 12 months from participants in the control and intervention groups.
This trial will add to the evidence base on the recruitment, retention and the impact of community based dietary and physical activity interventions for mothers with young children.
Trial Registration
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000735257
PMCID: PMC3166931  PMID: 21843366
11.  Alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use amongst same-sex attracted women: results from the Western Australian Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Health and Well-Being Survey 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:317.
The prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use has been reported to be higher amongst lesbian and bisexual women (LBW) than their heterosexual counterparts. However, few studies have been conducted with this population in Australia and rates that have been reported vary considerably.
A self-completed questionnaire exploring a range of health issues was administered to 917 women aged 15-65 years (median 34 years) living in Western Australia, who identified as lesbian or bisexual, or reported having sex with another woman. Participants were recruited from a range of settings, including Perth Pride Festival events (67.0%, n = 615), online (13.2%, n = 121), at gay bars and nightclubs (12.9%, n = 118), and through community groups (6.9%, n = 63). Results were compared against available state and national surveillance data.
LBW reported consuming alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than women in the general population. A quarter of LBW (25.7%, n = 236) exceeded national alcohol guidelines by consuming more than four standard drinks on a single occasion, once a week or more. However, only 6.8% (n = 62) described themselves as a heavy drinker, suggesting that exceeding national alcohol guidelines may be a normalised behaviour amongst LBW. Of the 876 women who provided data on tobacco use, 28.1% (n = 246) were smokers, nearly double the rate in the female population as a whole. One third of the sample (33.6%, n = 308) reported use of an illicit drug in the previous six months. The illicit drugs most commonly reported were cannabis (26.4%, n = 242), meth/amphetamine (18.6%, n = 171), and ecstasy (17.9%, n = 164). Injecting drug use was reported by 3.5% (n = 32) of participants.
LBW appear to use alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs at higher rates than women generally, indicating that mainstream health promotion messages are not reaching this group or are not perceived as relevant. There is an urgent need for public health practitioners working in the area of substance use to recognise that drug consumption and use patterns of LBW are likely to be different to the wider population and that special considerations and strategies are required to address the unique and complex needs of this population.
PMCID: PMC2749041  PMID: 19725956
12.  Study of knowledge, perception and attitude of adolescent girls towards STIs/HIV, safer sex and sex education: (A cross sectional survey of urban adolescent school girls in South Delhi, India) 
BMC Women's Health  2008;8:12.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's), including HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) mainly affects sexually active young people. Young adults aged 15–29 years, account for 32% of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) cases reported in India and the number of young women living with HIV/AIDS is twice that of young men. The aim of the study was to evaluate adolescent school girls' knowledge, perceptions and attitudes towards STIs/HIV and safer sex practice and sex education and to explore their current sexual behaviour in India.
A cross sectional study was carried out in 2007 in South Delhi, India to investigate the perception, knowledge and attitude of adolescent urban schoolgirls towards sexually transmitted Infections (STIs), HIV/AIDS, safer sex practice and sex education. the self-administered questionnaire was completed by 251 female students from two senior secondary schools.
More than one third of students in this study had no accurate understanding about the signs and symptoms of STIs other than HIV/AIDS. About 30% of respondents considered HIV/AIDS could be cured, 49% felt that condoms should not be available to youth, 41% were confused about whether the contraceptive pill could protect against HIV infection and 32% thought it should only be taken by married women.
Though controversial, there is an immense need to implement gender-based sex education regarding STIs, safe sex options and contraceptives in schools in India
PMCID: PMC2490677  PMID: 18647417
13.  Western Australian food security project 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:214.
The aim of the Western Australian (WA) Food Security Project was to conduct a preliminary investigation into issues relating to food security in one region within the Perth metropolitan area in Western Australia. The first phase of the project involved a food audit in one lower income area that was typical of the region, to identify the range, variety and availability of foods in the region.
A comprehensive food audit survey was provided to all food outlet owners/operators in one lower socio-economic region within the City of Mandurah (n = 132 outlets). The purpose of the survey was to investigate the range, variety and availability of foods in the Mandurah region as well as examining specific in-store characteristics such as the types of clientele and in-store promotions offered. Surveys were competed for 99 outlets (response rate = 75%).
The range of foods available were predominantly pre-prepared with more than half of the outlets pre-preparing the majority of their food. Sandwiches and rolls were the most popular items sold in the outlets surveyed (n = 51 outlets) followed by pastries such as pies, sausage rolls and pasties (n = 33 outlets). Outlets considered their healthiest food options were sandwiches or rolls (n = 51 outlets), salads (n- = 50 outlets), fruit and vegetables (n = 40 outlets), seafood (n = 27 outlets), meats such as chicken (n = 26 outlets and hot foods such as curries, soups or quiches (n = 23 outlets). The majority of outlets surveyed considered pre-prepared food including sandwiches, rolls and salads, as healthy food options regardless of the content of the filling or dressings used. Few outlets (n = 28%) offered a choice of bread type other than white or wholemeal. High fat pastries and dressings were popular client choices (n = 77%) as were carbonated drinks (n = 88%) and flavoured milks (n = 46%).
These findings clearly indicate the need for further investigation of the impact of access to quality, healthy foods at reasonable cost (food security) on public health, particularly in lower socio-economic areas.
PMCID: PMC1994950  PMID: 17714595
14.  Factors influencing the consumption of seafood among young children in Perth: a qualitative study 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:119.
This formative study sought to explore the factors that influence the consumption of fish and seafood among 4–6 year old children in the Perth metropolitan area. Focus groups were conducted with mothers of young children to gain insights into the enablers and barriers to regular seafood consumption in children, and the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of their mothers to including seafood as a regular part of their children's diet.
Purposive sampling techniques were used to select and recruit mothers of children aged between four and six years from within the Perth metropolitan area. A total of seven focus groups were conducted. Thematic content analysis was employed to code data generated and to extract major themes.
Findings indicated that all children of study participants had tried fish and seafood products, with some being exposed to a wide variety from an early age. Across focus groups, several dominant factors were apparent in influencing the frequency and type of seafood purchased and consumed. Perceived cost, freshness, availability/accessibility, and the level of confidence to prepare a meal to suit all family members were significant determinants of whether seafood featured regularly on the household menu. The influence of others in the family (particularly the husband or partner) also tended to impact upon the likelihood of serving fish and seafood, and the types of products mothers were willing to serve.
Findings from this qualitative study indicate that interventions seeking to promote seafood (particularly fish) as an integral part of a healthy diet should address existing negative attitudes and beliefs around the storage and preparation of seafood. The influence of dominant male influences within the family unit should also be considered. Strategies directed at parents and children should include experimental 'hands-on' components to encourage experimentation, particularly focussing on ease of preparation and the variety of lower cost seafood available.
PMCID: PMC1914047  PMID: 17588267

Results 1-14 (14)