This month we spoke with Angela Guo. Angela is a fourth year medical student at UNSW. She is currently undertaking her independent research year with the Sydney Children’s Community Health team.
Please tell us a little about yourself
My name is Angela and I’m a fourth year medical student at UNSW. I’m currently undertaking my independent research year with the Sydney Children’s Community Health team. During my spare time, I enjoy teaching kids Chinese, photography and travelling.
What is your research on?
The research I’ve been conducting this year focuses on the association between Culturally and Linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and discharge against medical advice (DAMA). I used data from the past eight years extracted from the largest paediatric administrative database – the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and analysed in three separate groups, admitted patients, outpatients and emergency patients. I’ve examined the prevalence of DAMA in all patients and compared this data between CALD and non-CALD patient groups. I have also conducted a multivariate logistic regression and found an independent association between CALD status and DAMA.
What are the real world consequences of your research?
CALD individuals represent around 20% of Australia’s population. They face various barriers when accessing health services and one of the most evident measures is their high prevalence of DAMA compared to the non-CALD individuals. By examining the association between CALD status and DAMA, I have identified CALD as a predictor of DAMA. I hope my research can lead to better recognition of CALD patients as a high risk group to DAMA when they access health services and appropriate methods, such as improving interpreter use, can be implemented to improve the healthcare access for CALD population in Australia.
What does digital health mean to you?
Digital health means using data from each hospital site and department to connect and create a centralised system where patients’ information can be securely shared. When all the information is made available to authorised individuals, researchers like me can utilise it to ask questions with the purpose of improving the health system. We will be able to use evidence-based medicine to address issues with the current methods of healthcare delivery and eventually, improve the quality of care for patients.
Connect with Angela
Thank you to Angela for being our September feature.