Cockatoo Rest Hospital; hospitalisation rate, potential risk factors and public health prevention strategies


The Cockatoo Rest Hospital has alerted the community that it is currently experiencing a staff shortage, especially in their nursing workforce. It is believed that increasing numbers of hospitalisations for selected health conditions might also be contributing to the problem. Three conditions are of particular concern: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), stroke, and falls injuries. Given the recognised difficulties of attracting and retaining health care professionals in rural areas, the local authorities believe that the development of public health prevention strategies might be an efficient and sustainable approach to reduce hospitalisations related to these conditions and hence alleviate pressures on the health system in the short and longer term.

Your task:

As a member of the Cockatoo Rest Public Health team, you have been asked to write a report on one of the three conditions (i.e., you will need to choose either Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease OR Falls Injury OR Stroke to write your report), which should cover (1) the hospitalisation rate for that condition within the Cockatoo Rest community and a comparison to Australian statistics, (2) potential risk factors related to the condition; and (3) public health prevention strategies. You will be provided information on the number of hospitalisations within Cockatoo Rest in 2010 by selected age groups for the three health conditions.

Hospitalisation rates

Your task is to use the data provided and calculate the hospitalisation rate for the condition you have chosen for the Cockatoo Rest Community for 2010 and compare it to relevant national statistics. Hospitalisation rate is defined as the number of hospital separations (i.e., when a patient is discharged) over a period of time for a given population. Although we have not discussed hospitalisation rates in the course, you can assume it is like a period prevalence where the events or cases are the hospitalisations. Information on the Cockatoo Rest Population is presented by age group and gender in the Cockatoo Rest archive on the course site. This section should also include a comparison of hospitalisation rates in Cockatoo Rest with an Australian estimate you have found to determine whether hospitalisation rates are higher in Cockatoo Rest than elsewhere in Australia.

Risk factors

Your report should also include a section on the potential risk factors that might be contributing to an increase in hospitalisation rates for the condition you have chosen. In this section, you will need to assess the literature to identify factors associated with hospitalisations of your chosen condition. Your risk factors should not only reflect individual (person factors) characteristics but also factors related to the community itself (place factors) and/or time (time factors). You should also discuss whether these risk factors are modifiable or not. You should use at least one peer-reviewed study investigating a risk factor for the condition and discuss the type of study design used in that study.

Public health strategy

Your report should also outline two public health prevention strategies targeting one person and one community (place) factor you have identified in the previous section. You should clearly indicate how the strategy is going to impact on the risk factor and/or minimise the impact of the risk factor on your chosen condition.


The report should follow the following structure:
1. Introduction: Description of the problem, overview of report (4 marks)
2. Hospitalisation rates (see instructions above; 8 marks)
3. Risk factors (see instructions above; 8 marks)
4. Public health prevention strategies (see instructions above; 8 marks)
5. Conclusions: Summary of the main points of the proposal (4 marks)
6. Reference list: Both in text references and the reference list need to be formatted according to the UniSA (2015) Harvard author-date style (4 marks)

You will be will be marked on the overall presentation of your report including; organisation of sections, word limit, and appropriate formatting, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation. (4 marks)

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