The Adult Survey has commenced, with almost 1000 invitation packs delivered in recent weeks and a further 2000 to be delivered in early June. This has been the final Hazelwood Health Study stream to roll out, mainly because it is the largest and most complex part. Invitation packs with detailed information about participation will continue to be mailed to approximately 13,500 eligible residents in Morwell and Sale over the coming 5 months. Rather than approaching all eligible residents at once, Morwell and Sale have been divided in to smaller residential areas which will be approached one at a time.
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
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 invited people as possible completing the Adult Survey whether older or younger, well or unwell and regardless of whether they believe they were impacted by the smoke event or not. The higher the participation rate, the better the outcome for the two communities, the Latrobe Valley and the wider region.
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.
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.