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WA Health and Wellbeing Survey: Injury specific focus

Injuries greatly impact the population and health of the West Australian (WA) community, with 561,182 hospitalisations occurring in 2011 to 2015 due to an external cause1. The following provides an overview of the findings from the 2016 WA Health and Wellbeing Survey with a focus on injuries and falls specific injuries.

In 2016, 5,865 Western Australians aged 16 years and over were interviewed by the Department of Health WA via computer assisted telephone interviews and asked questions relating to a range of indicators about health and wellbeing. The results of the survey were weighted to reflect the total Western Australia population.

Acknowledging the impact of injury on the health and wellbeing of Western Australians, the survey asked respondents whether they had experienced any injuries in the past 12 months that required treatment from a health professional. The results indicate that more than one in five Western Australians (23%) reported an injury in the past 12 months that required treatment from a health professional. When identifying the mean number of injuries per person, in the past 12 months on average there were 0.3 injuries per person, equating to 475,128 injuries to Western Australian adults that required treatment by a health care professional in 2016. This 2016 rate is not significantly different to the prevalence rate of injuries identified in the annual survey since 2002.

Due to the significant contribution of falls to injury morbidity, the survey specifically asked respondents to indicate if the injury that required treatment from a health professional was due to a fall. Of the 23% of people who reported an injury, 27.8% of the injuries were the result of a fall. Similar to the rate of injury, the prevalence estimate of falls in the last 12 months remained unchanged since 2005.

These injury findings from the 2016 Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System provide the health sector and general population with important information regarding the reported prevalence of injury and falls of the Western Australian adult population.

The full report on the Health and Wellbeing of Adults in Western Australia 2016 is available here.

Reference:

  1. Data generated using HealthTracks Reporting, by the Epidemiology Branch, WA Department of Health in collaboration with the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRC-SI), October 2017.