Dr Jason Agostino

FRACGP, MPhilAppEpid, BMed, DCH

Jason Agostino mugshot

Lecturer, Academic Unit of General Practice

Research Fellow, ANU Medical School

Jason is a GP and an epidemiologist who has worked mainly in the field of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.  Since graduating from medicine he has worked in rural Australia with a focus on child health and does clinical work at Gurriny Yealamucka, an Aboriginal community controlled health service in the community of Yarrabah in far north Queensland and is a medical advisor at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

Through his training as an epidemiologist Jason worked at NACCHO and the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) before coming to the ANU.  At the ANU his research focuses on improving prevention of cardiovascular disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and understanding the health needs of ACT's children.

He has an interest in developing team-based community health care, and the use of routinely collected data to improve health services. He works with NACCHO on primary healthcare reform and is involved in national reporting through his position on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare's Primary Care Expert Advisory Group.

He has supported the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector through the COVID-19 pandemic and sits on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander COVID-19 Advisory Group and the Guidelines Leadership Group of the National COVID-19 Evidence Taskforce. He is also a member of the executive group overseeing the development of COVID-19 Primary Healthcare Guidance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Current student projects 

A review and evaluation of general practice datasets and indicators available for assessing coverage of chronic disease risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

A key element to effective prevention of chronic disease is the early identification and management of chronic disease risk. This is especially important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who experience a high burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and kidney disease from a young age.

Large datasets exist which contain de-identified cross-sectional patient information extracted from electronic medical records used in general practices (e.g. NPS Medicine Insight). In this project, we will review available GP datasets and indicators available for assessing coverage of chronic disease risk assessment and management of risk for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Datasets and indicators will be assessed for usefulness in directing quality improvement and the identification of services achieving high rates of chronic disease risk screening and follow-up.

Past student projects 

Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with end stage renal failure requiring intensive care

The prevalence of dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease (CKD5D) is increasing steadily, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at increased risk of developing it. Patients who are admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with existing CKD5D are more likely to require invasive procedures (mechanical ventilation, blood transfusions, strong drug infusions), are likely to require longer admissions and have an increased risk of death. Finally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are overrepresented in the ICU, tend to be younger than non-Indigenous patients and present at later stages of disease. This will be the first study to investigate the difference in hospital outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous ICU patients with existing CKD5D.

Evaluation of the continuum of care of otitis media and its sequelae in children in Yarrabah

Otitis Media and sequelae carry a significant burden of disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, with possible detrimental outcomes including poor hearing, difficulty with language acquisition, decreased social integration and cholesteatoma. While treatment guidelines exist and treatment is relatively simple on a case by case basis, the interplay of complex social, biological, economic and geographic determinants present a significant challenge to both prevention and treatment of the disease.

We audited the files of children in Yarrabh who had been referred for further assessment due to ear disease or hearing concerns.  We ound low attendance rates and long wait times for appointments that would likely contribute to poor outcomes for children of this community.

Areas of expertise

  • Epidemiology
  • Primary Health Care
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Community Child Health
  • Preventive Medicine

Research Interests

  • General practice
  • In phase 1 I contribute to teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and EBM teaching

Publications (peer reviewed 2017 – 2021)

O’Brien K, Agostino J, Ciszek K, Douglas K. Parents' perceptions of their child's weight in children in their first year of primary school: a mixed methods analysis of an Australian cross-sectional (complete enumeration) study. International Journal of Obesity 2022.

Thurber, K, Barrett, E, Agostino, J et al. 2021, 'Risk of severe illness from COVID-19 among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults: the construct of "vulnerable populations" obscures the root causes of health inequities', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 45, no. 6, pp. 658-663.

Bailey, A, Korda, R, Agostino, J et al. 2021, 'Absolute cardiovascular disease risk score and pharmacotherapy at the time of admission in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome due to coronary artery disease in a single Australian tertiary centre: A cross-sectional study', BMJ Open, vol. 11, no. 2.

Sturgiss, E, O'Brien, K, Elmitt, N et al. 2021, 'Obesity management in primary care: systematic review exploring the influence of therapeutic alliance', Family Practice.

Greaves, K, Smith, A, Agostino, J et al. 2020, 'Cross-sectional survey describing general practitioners absolute cardiovascular disease risk assessment practices and their relationship to knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about cardiovascular disease risk in Queensland, Australia', BMJ Open, vol. 10, no. 8.

O'Brien, K, Agostino, J, Ciszek, K et al 2020, 'Physical activity and risk of behavioural and mental health disorders in kindergarten children: analysis of a series of cross-sectional complete enumeration (census) surveys', BMJ Open, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 1-9.

Agostino, J, Wong, D, Paige, E et al 2020, 'Cardiovascular disease risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged under 35 years: a consensus statement', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 212, no. 9, pp. 422-427.

Paige, E, O'Donoughue Jenkins, L, Agostino, J et al 2019, 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander absolute cardiovascular risk assessment and management: systematic review of evidence to inform national guidelines [IN PRESS]', Public Health Research & Practice, vol. Online, pp. 1-5.

Paige, E, Agostino, J, Phillips, C et al 2019, 'Living Guidelines for Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment and Management', Heart, Lung and Circulation, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 829-832.

van der Linden, N, van Gool, K, Gardner, K, Agostino, J, et al. 2019, 'A systematic review of scabies transmission models and data to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of scabies interventions', PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. e0007182-1-18.

Sturgiss, E, Agostino, J & Smith, GJD (2019) Conversations about obesity need to be realistic and informed, Australian Journal of General Practice, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 247-247.

Strobel, N, McAuley, K, Matthews, V et al 2018, 'Understanding the structure and processes of primary health care for young indigenous children', Journal of Primary Health Care, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 1-12.

Ju, I, Banks, E, Calabria, B et al 2018, 'General practitioners' perspectives on the prevention of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies', BMJ Open, vol. 8, no. 11, pp. e021137-.

Gardner, K, van Gool, K, Van der Linden, N et al 2018, Evaluation of the One Disease Crusted Scabies Elimination Project.

Paige, E, Welsh, J, Agostino, J et al 2018, 'Socioeconomic variation in absolute cardiovascular disease risk and treatment in the Australian population', Preventive Medicine, vol. 114, pp. 217-222pp.

Sturgiss, E & Agostino, J 2018, 'Preventive Health Care Should Focus on Modifiable Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Not Obesity Alone', Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 71, no. 7, pp. 815-816.

Agostino, J, Ferguson, J, Eastwood, K et al 2017, 'The increasing importance of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 207, no. 9, pp. 388-393pp.

Sibthorpe, B, Agostino, J, Coates, H et al 2017, 'Indicators for continuous quality improvement for otitis media in primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 1-9.

Projects and Grants:

Generating evidence to support updating of the CVD absolute risk algorithm for Australia (Secondary Investigator)

Optimising primary health care in Australia: multi-method whole-of-population investigation of the impact of telehealth on uptake and quality of care (Secondary Investigator)

Proposal to develop and implement contemporary, integrated cardiovascular and chronic disease risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Primary Investigator)

Making better use of a GP software system to prevent cardiovascular disease: evaluation of a potential surveillance system, and a pilot study to recall-and-treat high risk patients (Secondary Investigator)

Multifactorial, multidisciplinary nurse led Aboriginal dementia prevention through cardio-metabolic risk reduction, behaviour change and other strategies: a pragmatic RCT (Secondary Investigator)

Completing the 'Evaluation of the Crusted Scabies Elimination Program' (Secondary Investigator)

Absolute Risk Assessment of Cardiovascular Disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (Secondary Investigator)

Related sites:

ANU Research


Email: Jason.Agostino@anu.edu.au
Phone:  +61 2 5124 4947
Location:  Canberra Hospital, Bdg 4, Level 2, Garran ACT 2605
Centre:  Academic Unit of General Practice

Page last updated on: 16 Feb 2022