The impact of bushfire on the wellbeing of children living in rural and remote Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the impact of bushfire events on the wellbeing of children living in rural and remote Australia.
Study design: Literature review completed using rapid realist review methods, and taking into consideration the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement for systematic reviews.
Data sources: We sourced data from six databases: EBSCOhost (Education), EBSCOhost (Health), EBSCOhost (Psychology), Informit, MEDLINE and PsycINFO. We developed search terms to identify articles that could address the research question based on the inclusion criteria of peer reviewed full text journal articles
published in English between 1983 and 2020. We initially identified 60 studies and, following closer review, extracted data from eight studies that met the inclusion criteria.
Data synthesis: Children exposed to bushfires may be at increased risk of poorer wellbeing outcomes. Findings suggest that the impact of bushfire exposure may not be apparent in the short term but may become more pronounced later in life. Children particularly at risk are those from more vulnerable backgrounds who may have compounding factors that limit their ability to overcome bushfire trauma.
Conclusion: We identified the short, medium and long term impacts of bushfire exposure on the wellbeing of children in Australia. We did not identify any evidence-based interventions for supporting outcomes for this population. Given the likely increase in bushfire events in Australia, research into effective interventions should be a priority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S14-S17.e1
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume213
Issue numberS11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2020

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