Examining relationships between parent-reported factors and recurring ear symptoms among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Fina Constantinides, Neil Orr, Kai Nash, John Robert Evans, Catherine M. McMahon, Hasantha Gunasekera, Samantha Harkus, Liesa Clague, Cara Cross, Luke Halvorsen, Noeleen Lumby, Harvey Coates, Rona Macniven

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Abstract

ISSUE ADDRESSED: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child ear health is complex and multiple. We examined relationships between parent-reported sociodemographic, child health, health service access factors and ear symptoms among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 3 to 7 years.

METHODS: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children is a large child cohort study with annual parent-reported data collection. Generalised linear mixed model analyses examined Wave 1 (1309 children 0-5 years; 2008) predictors of being free of parent-reported ear symptoms in both Waves 2 and 3.

RESULTS: A total of 1030 (78.7%) had no reported ear symptoms in either Wave 2 or 3. In the fully adjusted model, children who had been hospitalised in the past year (aOR = 2.16; 95% CI 1.19-3.93) and those with no ear symptoms (aOR = 2.94; 95% CI, 1.59-5.46) at Wave 1 had higher odds of no ear symptoms in both the subsequent waves. There were also relationships between parent main source of income-government pension or allowance as well as parents who reported no history of their own ear symptoms and higher odds of no ear symptoms in Waves 2 and 3 after partial adjustment for sociodemographic factors.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest relationships between different sociodemographic and health factors and parent-reported ear symptoms among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children that warrant further investigation. So what? Children with parent-reported ear symptoms during the early years need holistic support to prevent future ear symptoms that impact health, social and educational life trajectories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Volume35
Issue number1
Early online date24 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • child
  • cohort studies
  • health services
  • indigenous
  • public health

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