Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
A person who identifies themselves as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. See also First Nations people.
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health practitioner
An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person (see First Nations people) who has gained a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice and is registered with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO)
A health organisation controlled by, and accountable to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in those areas in which the organisation operates. An individual ACCHO aims to deliver holistic, comprehensive and culturally appropriate health care to the community that controls it. See also First Nations people – Glossary.
Aboriginal health worker
A health worker who provides clinical and primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and community groups. See also First Nations people – Glossary.
Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS)
A health service funded principally to provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals that is not necessarily community controlled. AMSs that are not community controlled are government health services run by a state or territory government. Non-community controlled AMSs mainly exist in the Northern Territory and the northern part of Queensland. See also First Nations people – Glossary.
A term used to describe something that comes on suddenly and is often brief, intense and severe.
adult prison
A place administered and operated by a justice department, where individuals are detained while under the supervision of the relevant justice department on a pre-sentence or sentenced detention episode.
A group of disorders for which there is inflammation of the joints – which can then become stiff, painful, swollen or deformed. The 3 most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
A common, chronic inflammatory disease of the air passages that presents as episodes of wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness due to widespread narrowing of the airways and obstruction of airflow.
back problems
A range of conditions related to the bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles and nerves of the back. These conditions can affect the neck (cervical spine), upper back (thoracic spine) and lower back (lumbar spine) as well as the sacrum and tailbone (coccyx). Back problems are substantial causes of disability and lost productivity.
bloodborne virus
A virus that lives in the blood and is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact. Examples of bloodborne viruses include Hepatitis C and HIV.
bulk billing
The process where a medical practitioner or other health practitioner sends the bill for eligible services directly to Medicare, so the patient pays nothing. Also known as direct billing.
burden of disease
The quantified impact of a disease, injury or risk factor on a population, using the disability-adjusted life year (DALY) measure. One DALY is 1 year of 'healthy life' lost due to illness and/or death. The more DALYs associated with a disease or injury, the greater the burden. The DALY is produced by combining the years lived with disability and years of life lost together. People generally experience more burden as they age.
A group of several hundred diseases in which abnormal cells are not destroyed by normal metabolic processes, but instead proliferate and spread out of control (after being affected by a carcinogen, or after developing from a random genetic mutation) and form a mass called a tumour or neoplasm. In this data collection, cancer includes leukaemia, lymphoma, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, digestive system cancer, stomach cancer, bowel cancer, breast cancer, genital cancer, head and neck cancers, liver cancer, lung cancer, nervous system cancers and skin cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).
cardiovascular disease
Any disease that affects the circulatory system, including the heart and blood vessels. Examples include coronary heart disease, heart failure, rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
chronic conditions
A diverse group of diseases/ conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis, which tend to be long lasting and persistent in their symptoms or development. Although these features also apply to some communicable diseases, the term is usually confined to non-communicable diseases.
chronic kidney disease
Abnormalities of kidney structure or function that are present for 3 months or more. It may be caused by several conditions – such as diabetes, high blood pressure or congenital conditions.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
See pulmonary disease.
clinic visit
A face-to-face consultation for which an entry is made in the health service record, other than for routine, household-type treatment such as adhesive plasters or paracetamol.
communicable disease
Diseases that are capable of being transmitted between individuals, including AIDS, HIV, hepatitis, malaria, meningitis, sexually transmitted infections, and vaccine-preventable diseases such as chickenpox and influenza.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019)
An infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
A chronic condition where the body cannot properly use its main energy source – the sugar glucose. This is due to a relative or absolute deficiency in insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, which helps glucose enter the body’s cells from the bloodstream and be processed by them. Diabetes is marked by an abnormal build-up of glucose in the blood; it can have serious short- and long-term effects. The 3 main types of diabetes are Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
digestive system disorders
Disorders that include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, gallstones, gastroenteritis, hernias, incontinence, indigestion, intestinal diseases, liver disease, malabsorption syndromes, oesophageal disease, pancreatic disease and peptic ulcer. Excludes digestive system cancers such as bowel, liver and stomach cancer.
A person aged at least 18 who is expected to be released from custody during the data collection period, or due to be released within 4 weeks following the data collection period. People who were being transferred from one facility to another were not included as dischargees.
e-cigarette (electronic cigarette)
Personal vaporising device, often referred to as a vape, where users inhale vapour rather than smoke. The vapours usually contain flavourings and may also contain nicotine or other chemical constituents.
A person aged at least 18, entering full-time prison custody, either on remand (awaiting a trial or sentencing) or on a sentence. Prisoners who have been transferred from one prison to another are not included as entrants.
First Nations people
People of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
full-time equivalent (FTE)
On-job hours paid for (including overtime) and hours of paid leave of any type for a staff member (or contract employee where applicable) divided by the number of ordinary-time hours normally paid for a full-time staff member when on the job (or contract employee where applicable) under the relevant award or agreement for the staff member (or contract employee occupation where applicable). Hours of unpaid leave are excluded. Contract staff employed through an agency are included where the contract is for the supply of labour (for example, nursing) rather than of products (such as maintenance). A full-time equivalent of 1.0 means a person is equivalent to a full-time worker, while a full-time equivalent of 0.5 indicates that the person works half time.
health-related discharge plan
A plan that supports the continuity of health care between the prison health service and the community, based on the individual needs of the patient leaving prison.
Illicit drug use
Includes use of:
  • any drug that is illegal to possess or use
  • any legal drug used in an illegal manner, such as:
    • a drug obtained on prescription, but given or sold to another person to use
    • glue or petrol that is sold legally, but used in a manner that is not intended, such as inhaling fumes
    • stolen pharmaceuticals sold on the black market (such as pethidine)
    • any drug used for ‘non-medical purposes’, which means drugs used either alone or with other drugs to induce or enhance a drug experience for performance enhancement (for example, athletic) or for cosmetic purposes (for example, body shaping).
Used interchangeably with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. See Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and First Nations people.
juvenile detention centre
A place administered and operated by a department responsible for juvenile justice, where young people under the age of 18 are detained while under the supervision of the department on a pre-sentence or sentenced detention episode.
Kessler Psychological Distress Scale – 10 items (Kessler-10; K10)
A survey device used to measure non-specific psychological distress in people. It uses 10 questions about negative emotional states that participants in the survey may have had in the 4 weeks leading up to their interview. The designers recommend using it only for people aged 18 and over.
Includes most type of cancers but excludes non-melanoma skin cancer in this data collection.
A measure based on the value(s) of the observation(s) at the midpoint of a list of observations, ranked from the smallest to the largest.
A national, government-funded scheme that subsidises the cost of personal medical services for all Australians and aims to help them afford medical care. The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is the listing of the Medicare services subsidised by the Australian Government. The schedule is part of the wider Medicare Benefits Scheme (Medicare).
mental health
A state of wellbeing in which the person realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and can contribute to the community. Mental health is the capacity of individuals and groups to interact with one another and the environment in ways that promote subjective wellbeing, optimal development and the use of cognitive, affective and relational abilities.
mental illness/ mental health disorder
The range of cognitive, emotional and behavioural disorders that interfere with the lives and productivity of people. Mental health disorders are diagnosable by certain criteria, and include depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, personality disorders, and psychoses.
methadone program
A program for opiate addicts, usually conducted in an outpatient setting. These programs use a long-acting synthetic opiate medication, usually methadone or levo-alpha acetyl methadol, administered orally for a sustained period at a dosage sufficient to prevent opiate withdrawal, block the effects of illicit opiate use and decrease opiate craving.
musculoskeletal condition
A long-term condition affecting a skeletal muscle, tendon, ligament, joint or blood vessel that services skeletal muscles and any related tissues. Includes back injuries, back pain, bone disease, bursitis, joint diseases, muscular disease, spinal diseases and tendonitis. Excludes arthritis, injury or cancer in this data collection.
musculoskeletal injury
Recent/ short-term injuries to a skeletal muscle, tendon, ligament, joint or blood vessel that services skeletal muscles and any related tissues.
A term used to describe people who have indicated that they are not of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin (see also First Nations people).
nutritional value of diet
The rating of the nutritive quality of food eaten in a prison.
opiate/opioid substitution treatment (OST)
A form of healthcare for heroin and other opiate-dependent people using prescribed opioid agonists, which have some similar or identical properties to heroin and morphine on the brain and which alleviate withdrawal symptoms and block the craving for illicit opiates. OST includes methadone, buprenorphine, and buprenorphine with naloxone.
A condition that causes bones to become thin, weak and fragile.
A general term for the study of disease, but often used more specifically to describe diagnostic services that examine specimens, such as samples of blood or tissue.
The treatment of disease and illnesses using pharmaceutical drugs.
The carrying of one or more offspring that has been confirmed by medical test with or without the assistance of a medical professional. Pregnancy includes babies carried to full term, abortions and miscarriages.
Somone aged 18 and over who is held in custody and whose confinement is the responsibility of a correctional services agency. Comprises of sentenced individuals and people held in custody awaiting trial or sentencing (remandees or people on remand). Youth offenders, people in psychiatric custody, police cell detainees, those in periodic detention, asylum seekers or Australians held in overseas prisons are not included.
prison mental health service
A health service that provides screening of prisoners at intake, does psychiatric assessments, provides therapy or counselling by mental health professionals and distributes psychotropic medication. This may be part of or separate to the prison heath service.
A mental disorder in which the person has strange ideas or experiences that are unaffected by rational argument and are out of keeping with the views of any culture or group that the person belongs to.
psychological conditions
Include depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance abuse, attention deficit/ hyperactivity, adjustment, dissociation, impulse disorder, personality disorder and sleeping disorder.
pulmonary disease/ chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
A preventable and treatable lung disease characterised by chronic obstruction of lung airflow that interferes with normal breathing and is not fully reversible.
One number (numerator) divided by another number (denominator). The numerator is commonly the number of events in a specified time. The denominator is the population 'at risk' of the event. Rates (crude, age-specific and age-standardised) are generally multiplied by a number such as 100,000 to create whole numbers. In some instances, for example with prescription volumes or expenditure amounts in magnitude, a multiplier of 100 is used to aid comprehension.
The formal process whereby sentenced persons are received into prison, either on remand or sentence.
regular medication
Prescribed medication regularly taken by the prisoner, including depot and oral medications. Excludes routine household-type medications, such as paracetamol, which are taken on an as-needed basis.
When a person is placed in custody while awaiting the outcome of a court hearing.
repeat medication
Prescribed medication regularly taken by the prisoner, including depot and oral medications. Excludes routine household-type medications, such as paracetamol, that are taken on an as-needed basis.
respiratory conditions
Conditions of the respiratory system, including airways, lungs and the respiratory muscles, such as respiratory disease (chronic respiratory disease, lung disease and respiratory tract infections), bronchitis, diphtheria, influenza, colds, croup, pneumonia, sinusitis, legionnaires’ disease, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), tuberculosis and whooping cough. Excludes asthma and cancer.
risk factor
Any factor that represents a greater risk of a health disorder or other unwanted condition or event. Some risk factors are regarded as causes of disease, other are not necessarily so.
sexual assault
A sexual act carried out against a person's will through the use of physical force, intimidation or coercion. Includes rape, attempted rape, aggravated sexual assault (assault with a weapon), indecent assault, penetration by objects, forced sexual activity that did not end in penetration, and attempts to force a person into sexual activity. These acts are an offence under state and territory criminal law.
skin conditions
In this data collection, includes burns, scalds, dermatitis, fungal skin diseases, infectious skin disease, pressure sores, psoriasis, rosacea, ulcers and warts. Excludes cancer.
smoking status
The extent to which an adult was smoking at the time of interview. It refers to smoking of tobacco, including manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars, pipes and other tobacco products. The smoking categories include:
  • daily smoker – an adult who reported at the time of the interview that he or she regularly smoked one or more cigarettes, cigars or pipes per day
  • weekly smoker – an adult who reported at the time of the interview that he or she smoked occasionally, not every day, but at least once a week
  • irregular – an adult who reported at the time of the interview that he or she smoked occasionally, but less than once a week
  • ex-smoker – an adult who reported he or she did not currently smoke but had in the past
  • never smoked – an adult who reported he or she had never smoked a full cigarette.
social worker
Someone with a bachelor’s degree in social work who provides counselling and support (to prisoners).
Health services delivered using information and communication technologies, such as videoconferencing or through other communication technologies.
Can be described as the coordinated and integrated approach to the provision of services to meet the needs of prisoners, from the time of sentencing throughout their imprisonment and after their release. Working between services based both in the prison and the community is essential.
A general term for a person whose gender identity is different from their sex at birth. A trans person may take steps to live in their nominated sex with or without health intervention(s).
youth detention centre
A place administered and operated by a department responsible for youth justice, where young people under the age of 18 are detained while under the supervision of the department on a pre-sentence or sentenced detention episode.