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‘Next Generation Youth Well-being Study:’ understanding the health and social well-being trajectories of Australian Aboriginal adolescents aged 10–24 years: study protocol
  1. Lina Gubhaju1,
  2. Emily Banks2,
  3. James Ward3,4,
  4. Catherine D’Este5,
  5. Rebecca Ivers6,
  6. Robert Roseby7,
  7. Peter Azzopardi3,8,
  8. Anna Williamson9,
  9. Catherine Chamberlain10,
  10. Bette Liu11,
  11. Cheri Hotu12,
  12. Jacqueline Boyle7,
  13. Bridgette McNamara1,
  14. Sandra J Eades1
  15. on behalf of the ‘Next Generation’ investigator team
    1. 1 Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. 2 ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    3. 3 Infection and Immunity, South Australia Health and Medical Research Centre, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
    4. 4 Flinders University Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
    5. 5 National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH), ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, The Australian National University, Callaghan, Western Australia, Australia
    6. 6 Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    7. 7 Monash Children’s Hospital, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
    8. 8 Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    9. 9 The Sax Institute, Haymarket, New South Wales, Australia
    10. 10 Judith Lumley Centre, School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    11. 11 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    12. 12 Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    1. Correspondence to Dr Lina Gubhaju; lina.gubhaju{at}


    Introduction Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (hereafter referred to as ‘Aboriginal’) adolescents (10–24 years) experience multiple challenges to their health and well-being. However, limited evidence is available on factors influencing their health trajectories. Given the needs of this group, the young age profile of the Aboriginal population and the long-term implications of issues during adolescence, reliable longitudinal data are needed.

    Methods and analysis The ‘Next Generation: Youth Well-being Study’ is a mixed-methods cohort study aiming to recruit 2250 Aboriginal adolescents aged 10–24 years from rural, remote and urban communities in Central Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales. The study assesses overall health and well-being and consists of two phases. During phase 1, we qualitatively explored the meaning of health and well-being for adolescents and accessibility of health services. During phase 2, participants are being recruited into a longitudinal cohort. Recruitment is occurring mainly through community networks and connections. At baseline, participants complete a comprehensive survey and undertake an extensive age relevant clinical assessment. Survey and clinical data will be linked to various databases including those relating to health services; medication; immunisation; hospitalisations and emergency department presentations; death registrations; education; child protection and corrective services. Participants will receive follow-up surveys approximately 2 years after their baseline visit. The ‘Next Generation’ study will fill important evidence gaps by providing longitudinal data on the health and social well-being of Aboriginal adolescents supplemented with narratives from participants to provide context.

    Ethics and dissemination Ethics approvals have been sought and granted. Along with peer-reviewed publications and policy briefs, research findings will be disseminated via reports, booklets and other formats that will be most useful and informative to the participants and community organisations.

    • aboriginal
    • adolescent
    • youth
    • health
    • cohort study

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    • Contributors LG led the writing of this paper. SJE, EB and JW had overall responsibility for the conception of this study with scientific input from the chief investigators (BL, CD, RI, AW and RR). CD contributed expertise in the development of the statistical analysis plan for the study. LG, PA, CC, CH, JB and BM contributed expertise to the design of the survey tool and clinical assessments described. All authors contributed to the design of the study, the writing of this paper and approved the final draft.

    • Funding This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia grant number 1089104.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Ethics approval Ethical approval for the study has been obtained from the following: Central Australian Aboriginal Human Research Ethics Committee (Ref #15-305 [phase 1]; Ref #16-398 [phase 2]), Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (Ref #627 [phase 1]; Ref #719 [phase 2]), Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW Ethics Committee (Ref #1255-17), Alfred Health Ethics Committee (Ref #149-15 [phase 1]; Ref #255-16 [phase 2]) and the University of Melbourne Medicine and Dentistry Human Ethics Sub-Committee (ID# 1851155). To work more closely with schools, approvals from the Department of Education of each State and Territory are in process. Approval for linkage to Australian Government data from theDepartment of Human Services (MBS, PBS, AIR) has been obtained from theExternal Request Evaluation Committee (Ref #M18190).

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; peer reviewed for ethical and funding approval prior to submission.

    • Collaborators ‘Next Generation’ research team which include the following: Ricky Mentha, Roxanne Highfold, Jodi Lennox, Danielle Woods, Bronwyn Silver, Elizabeth Hillmann, Bobby Porykali, Anne Staude, Robyn Williams, Darlene Davis, Justin Trounson, Francine Eades, Dennis Gray, Edward Wilkes and Liz Stack.

    • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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