A paper published by Blackwell Publishing, in the February issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health, studies the multidisciplinary outreach model of care for the screening and management of the disease in four isolated rural communities. Researchers describe this model as one that may well work in both rural and metropolitan settings.
Indigenous Australians suffer from the highest rates of morbidity and mortality as a result of diabetes – and with diabetes management in isolated regional communities being uncoordinated and sporadic – access to culturally appropriate, comprehensive diabetes care a rarity. Dr Stephen Moore, one of the authors and the physician for the clinic 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 researchers employed a strategy of change by developing a multidisciplinary outreach clinic – the Goorie Diabetes Complications and Assessment Clinic – enabling the medical staff to bring essential primary health care services to each rural community. This in turn ensured that the complete annual cycle of diabetes care, including primary care, pathology services, specialist care as well as screening for the disease, was adequately provided in the rural communities.
Dr. Moore added, “The results speak for themselves. The clinic saw a vast improvement of patient attendance as a direct result of this initiative – 167 attendees at the clinic at least once, with many returning for regular follow-up visits, in comparison to the 15 people seeing just a diabetes educator with no other service coordination in 2003.”
With the Goorie Diabetes Complications and Assessment Clinic effectively facilitating improved access to culturally appropriate and comprehensive care in the regional community, there may now be an established viable model for primary health care and diabetes in the regional communities that other regional and metropolitan Aboriginal groups could emulate.
This study is published in the February 2007 issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health (Vol. 15. 67 - 70).
About Australian Journal of Rural Health
The Australian Journal of Rural Health is the official journal of the National Rural Health Alliance, the peak non-government body for rural and remote health in Australia. "Rural health is an important and dynamic concern in Australia and around the world. The Australian Journal of Rural Health provides a wonderful mix of practical and academic medical, nursing and other health articles. This provides interesting and useful reading for those in rural practice and those involved in rural health care education, planning and development internationally. I look forward to each issue." - James T. B. Rourke, MD, CCFP(EM), MCISc, FCFP, FAAFP, Rural Family Physician, Goderich, Ontario, Canada.
About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world’s leading publisher for societies, partnering with 665 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and, to date has published more than 6,000 books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects. The company has more than 1000 staff members in offices in the US, UK, Australia, China, Denmark, Singapore, Germany, and Japan. Blackwell’s mission as an expert publisher is to create long-term partnerships with clients to enhance learning, disseminate research, and improve the quality of professional practice. The company is in the process of merging with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.'s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. The acquisition by Wiley should be completed in early February.