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Examining health and well-being outcomes associated with mining activity in rural communities of high-income countries: A systematic review

journal contribution
posted on 2020-11-02, 00:00 authored by F Mactaggart, Liane McDermottLiane McDermott, A Tynan, C Gericke
Objective: It is recognised internationally that rural communities often experience greater barriers to accessing services and have poorer health outcomes compared to urban communities. In some settings, health disparities may be further exacerbated by mining activity, which can affect the social, physical and economic environment in which rural communities reside. Direct environmental health impacts are often associated with mining activity and are frequently investigated. However, there is evidence of broader, indirect health and well-being implications emerging in the literature. This systematic review examines these health and well-being outcomes in communities living in proximity to mining in high-income countries, and, in doing so, discusses their possible determinants. Methods: Four databases were systematically searched. Articles were selected if adult residents in mining communities were studied and outcomes were related to health or individual or community-level well-being. A narrative synthesis was conducted. Results: Sixteen publications were included. Evidence of increased prevalence of chronic diseases and poor self-reported health status was reported in the mining communities. Relationship breakdown and poor family health, lack of social connectedness and decreased access to health services were also reported. Changes to the physical landscape; risky health behaviours; shift work of partners in the mine industry; social isolation and cyclical nature of ‘boom and bust’ activity contributed to poorer outcomes in the communities. Conclusion: This review highlights the broader health and well-being outcomes associated with mining activity that should be monitored and addressed in addition to environmental health impacts to support co-existence of mining activities and rural communities. © 2016 National Rural Health Alliance Inc.


Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Income






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Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

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External Author Affiliations

Wesley Medical Research, Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland

Era Eligible

  • Yes


Australian Journal of Rural Health