The Adult Survey is a large survey of all adults on the Electoral Roll and who lived in Morwell at the time of the mine fire. This is the final Hazelwood Health Study stream to roll out, mainly because it is the largest and most complex part. Eligible residents will start receiving information about the survey from early May.
Participation involves answering a one-off questionnaire about your health and wellbeing, where you were during the mine fire and the type of house you live in, and giving the researchers permission to access further health information from hospital, ambulance and cancer databases.
Results from the Adult Survey may identify any health impacts in adults exposed to the mine fire event and how widely these impacts were felt in the region. Central to this work will be the comparison between two local communities – Morwell which was most exposed to the smoke and Sale which was minimally exposed. The findings will then be generalised to the other communities in the Latrobe Valley and beyond which were impacted by the smoke event.
Rather than approaching all eligible adults in both communities at once, we will divide Morwell and Sale into smaller areas which we will approach over a 6 month period.
To reimburse participants for their time, invited adults who complete the survey will receive a $20 ‘Latrobe City’ or ‘Shop in Sale’ gift voucher.
The success of the study depends on as many people as possible completing the Adult Survey whether older or younger, well or unwell. The higher the participation rate, the better the outcome for the two communities, the Latrobe Valley and the wider region. In addition to identifying any impacts from the smoke event, the study will provide new information about long-term or chronic health conditions of the local communities which will provide the evidence base for health policy and planning.
So keep an eye out for information about the study in your mailbox and get involved. The Hazelwood Health Study team will be at community events over the next 6 months to explain the Adult Survey as well as providing information in the local media and here on our website.