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Gambling, housing conditions, community contexts and child health in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Australia

Stevens, Matthew R. and Bailie, Ross S. (2012). Gambling, housing conditions, community contexts and child health in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Australia. BMC Public Health,12(377):1-13.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID cmartelxPUB2
Title Gambling, housing conditions, community contexts and child health in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Australia
Author Stevens, Matthew R.
Bailie, Ross S.
Journal Name BMC Public Health
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 12
Issue Number 377
ISSN 1471-2458   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84861365929
Start Page 1
End Page 13
Total Pages 13
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background
Recent government reports have identified gambling, along with alcohol abuse, drug abuse and pornography, as contributing to child neglect and abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory (NT). These reports also identify gaps in empirical evidence upon which to base sound policy. To address this shortfall, data from ten remote Indigenous communities was analysed to determine the relationship between gambling problems, housing conditions, community contexts and child health in indigenous communities.

Methods
Logistic regression was used to assess associations between gambling problems, community contexts, housing conditions and child health. Separate multivariable models were developed for carer reported gambling problems in houses and six child health outcomes.

Results
Carer reported gambling problems in households across the ten communities ranged from 10% to 74%. Inland tropical communities had the highest level of reported gambling problems. Less access to a doctor in the community showed evidence of a multivariable adjusted association with gambling problems in houses. No housing variables showed evidence for a multivariable association with reported gambling problems. There was evidence for gambling problems having a multivariable adjusted association with carer report of scabies and ear infection in children.

Conclusions
The analyses provide evidence that gambling is a significant problem in Indigenous communities and that gambling problems in households is related to poor child health outcomes. A comprehensive (prevention, treatment, regulation and education) public health approach to harm minimisation associated with gambling amongst the Indigenous population is required that builds on current normative community regulation of gambling
Keywords Gambling
Child health
Indigenous
Public health
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-377   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)


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