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Fresh approach to tackling diabetes in indigenous communities

A paper published in the February issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health has commented on a fresh model of care for the screening and management of diabetes amongst four rural communities. The researchers believe that the care model could be more effective on a wider basis, both within rural and urban settings.
The multidisciplinary outreach model of care aims to put an end to sporadic management of diabetes in isolated areas. In Australia, indigenous people in rural areas suffer badly from morbidity and mortality due to diabetes.
One of the authors of the study, Dr. Stephen Moore, said: “Although considerable work has been done developing models for providing diabetes care in remote settings, little has been published on how to meet these needs in small regional communities – hence this study of the partnership model of diabetes care.”
The research focused on a complete annual care cycle that included primary care, pathology, specialist care and screening. Moore concluded: “The results speak for themselves. The clinic saw a vast improvement of patient attendance as a direct result of this initiative – 167 individuals attended the clinic at least once, with many returning for regular follow-up visits, compared with the 15 people who saw a diabetes educator (with no other service being available) in 2003.”

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