Impact of an integrated diabetes service involving specialist outreach and primary health care on risk factors for micro- and macrovascular diabetes complications in remote Indigenous communities in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Journal of Rural Health, 2018, 26 (6), pp. 394 - 399
Issue Date:
2018-12-01
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© 2018 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd. Objective: To determine the impact of an integrated diabetes service involving specialist outreach and primary health care teams on risk factors for micro- and macrovascular diabetes complications in three remote Indigenous Australian communities over a 12-month period. Design: Quantitative, retrospective evaluation. Setting: Primary health care clinics in remote Indigenous communities in Australia. Participants: One-hundred-and-twenty-four adults (including 123 Indigenous Australians; 76.6% female) with diabetes living in remote communities. Main outcome measures: Glycosylated haemoglobin, lipid profile, estimated glomerular filtration rate, urinary albumin : creatinine ratio and blood pressure. Results: Diabetes prevalence in the three communities was high, at 32.8%. A total of 124 patients reviewed by the outreach service had a median consultation rate of 1.0 by an endocrinologist and 0.9 by a diabetes nurse educator over the 12-month period. Diabetes care plans were made in collaboration with local primary health care services, which also provided patients with diabetes care between outreach team visits. A significant reduction was seen in median (interquartile range) glycosylated haemoglobin from baseline to 12 months. Median (interquartile range) total cholesterol was also reduced. The number of patients prescribed glucagon-like peptide-1 analogues and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors increased over the 12 months and an increase in the number of patients prescribed insulin trended towards statistical significance. Conclusion: A collaborative health care approach to deliver diabetes care to remote Indigenous Australian communities was associated with an improvement in glycosylated haemoglobin and total cholesterol, both important risk factors, respectively, for micro- and macrovascular diabetes complications.
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