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Counting the cost of injury in Western Australia

31 October, 2012

A Senior Research Fellow with the Centre Population Health Research at Curtin University is uncovering the true cost of injury in Western Australia thanks to a $150,000 research grant awarded recently by the WA Health Department.

Delia Hendrie’s research work in the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute will use the grant to investigate the range of direct costs of injury, as well as the indirect costs such as loss of productivity and quality of life over time.
 
Ms Hendrie explained that by using a comprehensive approach to measuring the cost of injury, this research will inform decision makers about the overall magnitude of economic losses and how those costs are spread across a number of key areas.
 
"The costs will be useful in comparing various health problems, assessing risks, setting research priorities, and selecting possible strategies for reducing the cost of injury through preventive and treatment strategies," she said.
 
"Using this approach will also allow us to make comparisons with earlier population estimates of the cost of injury that span back to 2000.
 
"Being able to use data that stretches back over the past decade provides access to a sufficient span of time to show the longer term consequences for people with injuries," she said.
 
Injury costs will be calculated using an individual-based approach and then aggregated to provide an analysis of costs by injury type, injury severity, age group, gender and socio-economic status.
 
Injury prevention and control is a National Health Priority Area and is a key strategic direction identified in WA’s Health Promotion Strategic Framework.
 
Hendrie said she was pleased to see a developing profile for Safe Work Australia Week, which was a good time for all to reflect on improving health and safety in their workplaces to reduce death, injury and disease.

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