Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services: Primary health care services initiated and operated by local Indigenous communities to deliver comprehensive, holistic and culturally-appropriate health care to the community, which controls it through a locally elected board of management. These services range in size from large services with several medical practitioners to small services that rely on nurses and/or Aboriginal health workers. For more information see

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander: For nearly all data collections used for this report, an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person is one who identified themselves, or was identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. For a few data collections, information on acceptance of a person as being Indigenous by an Indigenous community may also be required. See also Indigenous.

additional diagnosis: A condition or complaint that either coexists with the principal diagnosis or arises during an episode of admitted patient care. An additional diagnosis is reported if the condition affects patient management. Compare with principal diagnosis.

admitted patient: A patient who undergoes a hospital’s formal admission process.

age-standardised rates: Rates adjusted for age in order to take into account differences in age structures when comparing different populations or across time—see Appendix B: Methods and technical notes in Appendix A to D: The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: 2015 (PDF 174 KB).

associated cause(s) of death: All causes listed on the death certificate, other than the underlying cause of death. They include the immediate cause, any intervening causes, and conditions which contributed to the death but were not related to the disease or condition causing the death. See also cause of death.

capital expenditure: Expenditure on large-scale fixed assets (for example, new buildings and equipment with a useful life extending over a number of years). Compare with recurrent expenditure.

cause of death: All diseases, morbid conditions or injuries that either resulted in or contributed to death, and the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced any such injuries, as entered on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. Causes of death are commonly reported using the underlying cause of death. See also associated cause(s) of death.

COAG: The Council of Australian Governments is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia, comprising the Prime Minister, state premiers, territory chief ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association. For more information, see

determinant: A factor that can increase the chances of ill health (risk factor) or good health (protective factor) in a population or individual. By convention, services or other programs that aim to improve health are usually not included.

dialysis: An artificial method of removing waste substances from the blood and regulating levels of circulating chemicals—functions usually performed by the kidneys.

disposable income: Equal to gross (total) income minus income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge. Disposable income is sometimes referred to as net income. See also equivalised household income.

dwelling: A structure or a discrete space within a structure intended for people to live in, or where a person or group of people live. Thus, a structure that people live in is a dwelling regardless of its intended purpose, but a vacant structure is only a dwelling if intended for human residence.

employment-to-population ratio: For any group, the number of employed people expressed as a percentage of the population in the same group.

equivalised household income: An indicator of the economic resources available to a 'standardised household' that takes into account variations in household size and composition by the application of an equivalence scale. For a one-person household, it is equal to income received. For a household comprising more than 1 person, it is an indicator of the household income that a one-person household would require to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing. This indicator can be calculated based on disposable income or gross (total) income.

external cause: The term used in disease classification to refer to an event or circumstance in a person’s external environment that is regarded as a cause of injury or poisoning.

fertility rate: Number of live births per 1,000 females aged 15–49.

hospitalisation (or separation): An episode of admitted patient care, which can be a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death) or a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute care to rehabilitation).

household: A group of 2 or more related or unrelated people who usually reside in the same dwelling, and who make common provision for food or other essentials for living, or an individual living in a dwelling who makes provision for his or her own food and other essentials for living, without combining with any other person.

incidence: The number of new cases (of an illness or event, and so on) occurring during a given period. Compare with prevalence.

Indigenous: Used interchangeably with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Indigenous Community Frame: An Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)-defined group of discrete Indigenous communities (including any outstations associated with them) in remote areas of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Indigenous household: A household in which at least 1 resident of any age identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Kessler-5: A measure of psychological distress which is based on responses to a subset of 5 questions from the full Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, which has 10 questions. A high score indicates that the person may be experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression on a regular basis, whereas a low score indicates that the person is experiencing these feelings less frequently or not at all.

life expectancy: A summary measure of mortality that indicates how long, on average, a person is expected to live if current mortality rates in every age group remained constant throughout a person’s life. It is expressed as the number of years of life remaining for a person at a given age, usually at birth.

mammogram: X-ray of the breast. It may be used to assess a breast lump or as a screening test in women with no evidence of cancer.

non-Indigenous: People who have indicated they are not of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Compare with other Australians.

other Australians: Includes people who did not identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, and people for whom information on their Indigenous status was not available. Compare with non-Indigenous.

prevalence: The number or proportion (of cases, instances, and so forth) in a population at a given time. Compare with incidence.

principal diagnosis: The diagnosis established after study to be chiefly responsible for occasioning a patient’s episode of admitted patient care. Compare with additional diagnosis.

recurrent expenditure: Expenditure that does not result in the creation or acquisition of fixed assets (new or second-hand). It consists mainly of expenditure on wages, salaries and supplements, purchases of goods and services, and consumption of fixed capital. It excludes expenditure on capital. Compare with capital expenditure.

remoteness areas: A classification of the remoteness of a location using the Australian Statistical Geography Standard Remoteness Structure, based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia which measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest urban centre.

severe or profound disability: As used in this report, refers to people with severe or profound core activity limitation, meaning they always or sometimes needed help with 'core activities' (that is, self-care, mobility and communication).

statistical significance: An indication from a statistical test that an observed difference or association may be significant or 'real' because it is unlikely to be due just to chance—see see Appendix B: Methods and technical notes in Appendix A to D: The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: 2015 (PDF 174 KB).

total fertility rate: A summary measure that describes the average number of children a woman could expect to bear during her lifetime if she experienced current age-specific fertility rates at each age of her reproductive life.

underlying cause of death: The disease or injury that initiated the sequence of events leading directly to death, or the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced the fatal injury. See also cause of death and associated cause(s) of death.

unemployed person: A person aged 15 or over who was not employed during the reference week but had actively looked for work and was currently available for work.

unemployment rate: The number of unemployed people as a proportion of the labour force.