Improving Diabetes Care and Management in Torres Strait Remote Primary Health Care Settings

Sean Taylor has been awarded a National Heart Foundation Australian Indigenous Scholarship for his project  "Improving Diabetes Care and Management in Torres Strait Remote Primary Health Care Settings” as part of his candidacy for Doctor of Public Health 

The project aims to improve the management of diabetes in high risk people in remote Torres Strait communities through two studies. The first will improve our understanding of the issues behind so called "psychological insulin resistance" (the refusal of Torres Strait Islanders to receive insulin treatment in spite of very poor glucose control), using client interviews and previously validated instruments. The second study will look at the impact of formal diabetes care planning and referrals in 5 remote clinics on care processes, intermediate clinical indicators and downstream health outcomes (complications) among 190 adults with diabetes, compared to "usual care" (4 "control" sites) in the Torres Strait, outer islands. The rationale for the second study is that, while it is assumed that care planning will improve clinical outcomes, care planning on its own may be insufficient in this population to achieve this, due to poor systems of follow up and high staff turnover.

Sean will commence his scholarship in late 2014  after a 12 months stint working Queensland Health as Telehealth Co-ordinator I the Torres Strait 

Project funding awarded is $115,000 over 3 years.

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