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Australian Health Performance Framework>Domain 1 – Determinants of health

Domain 1 – Determinants of health

Are the factors determining good health changing for the better? Where and for whom are these factors changing? Is it the same for everyone?

This domain takes into account factors that influence the health status and health care needs of Australians. Factors within this domain may be external to the traditional view of the health system. Reporting of health determinants in relation to the performance of the health system highlights the need for services within the health system and also the need for multi-sectoral approaches, where appropriate, to improve health outcomes. These determinants include health behaviours, personal biomedical factors, environmental factors and socioeconomic factors.

Dimensions of this framework

  • 1. Socioeconomic factors

    Socioeconomic factors —such as income, employment, housing and education—can affect a person’s health. People who are disadvantaged in one or more of these areas may have difficulty accessing health care, and this may in turn impact on their overall health and wellbeing.

  • 2. Health behaviours

    A person’s health is influenced by their behaviours. The impact of many health problems experienced by Australians could be reduced or prevented entirely by changing behaviours related to such things as tobacco smoking, being overweight or obese, high alcohol use, physical inactivity and high blood pressure. These indicators focus on behaviours that are known to put a person’s health at risk.

  • 3. Personal biomedical factors

    Personal biomedical factors, such as blood pressure and blood glucose levels, carry both short and long term risks for health. These are often influenced by health behaviours, such as diet and exercise, and social factors, such as financial stress or occupational stress.

    These indicators focus on biomedical factors that are known to put a person’s health at risk.

  • 4. Environmental factors

    Physical, chemical and biological factors in the environment such as water, food and soil quality can impact our health and wellbeing. Healthy workplaces, safe water, clean air, safe houses, communities and roads are integral for good health.

    Future releases of the AHPF will include indicators that report on environmental factors.