2020 Report: Mortality patterns among people using disability support services in Australia
In 2019 the NDIS Commission engaged the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to provide a report about the rates of death among people with disability and the causes of those deaths. The best available data was for people who had used disability services in Australia between 2013 and 2018. This was linked to Medicare records and a national register of deaths. The findings from the research are summarised below.
An Easy Read of the AIHW Summary Report is available.
While the previously published Scoping Review focused on a subset of reviewable deaths relating to disability services in particular settings, this AIHW study investigated deaths for people who were using a broad range of disability services. This study establishes the baseline death rates for people using disability services compared to the general population.
The data from this study contains information about demographic and other factors that could be related to deaths, including potentially avoidable deaths, of people with disability.
It is important to stress that the concept of potentially avoidable death is a statistical term; referring to whole classes of health conditions where death may have been delayed or potentially avoided with more appropriate health care intervention (e.g. death from heart disease could potentially be avoided with improved diabetes management). These causes are classified using nationally agreed definitions and do not indicate these deaths have been individually assessed as avoidable.