Child Social Exclusion Risk and Child Health Outcomes in Australia

Itismita MOHANTY, Martin Edvardsson, Annie Abello, Deanna Eldridge

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    This paper studies the relationship between the risk of child social exclusion, as measured by the Child Social Exclusion (CSE) index and its individual domains, and child health outcomes at the small area level in Australia. The CSE index is Australia’s only national small-area index of the risk of child social exclusion. It includes five domains that capture different components of social exclusion: socio-economic background, education, connectedness, housing and health services.
    The paper used data from the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM), University of Canberra for the CSE Index and its domains and two key Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data sources for the health outcome measures: the National Hospital Morbidity Database and the National Mortality Database.
    The results show positive associations between rates of both of the negative health outcomes: potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPH) and avoidable deaths, and the overall risk of child social exclusion as well as with the index domains. This analysis at the small-area level can be used to identify and study areas with unexpectedly good or bad health outcomes relative to their estimated risk of child social exclusion. We show that children’s health outcomes are worse in remote parts of Australia than what would be expected solely based on the CSE index.
    The results of this study suggest that developing composite indices of the risk of child social exclusion can provide valuable guidance for local interventions and programs aimed at improving children’s health outcomes. They also indicate the importance of taking a small-area approach when conducting geographic modelling of disadvantage
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0154536
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


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