The South Australian Aboriginal Diabetes Strategy 2017-2021: Technical Report 2016.

Odette Pearson, Frances Eltridge, Seth Westhead, Zoe Luz, Harold Stuart, Alex Brown

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This document details the information gathering and technical work that preceded and informed the development of the Strategy for Type 2 Diabetes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in South Australia, 2016-2021. The development of the Strategy was funded by SA Health, following extensive consultation with Aboriginal Leaders and key Aboriginal stakeholders in 2013.
That consultation had identified that no current strategy existed for the care of T2DM in South Australia and, given the high prevalence and reportedly increasing incidence of this condition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (hereinafter referred to as Aboriginal people in accordance with the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia), there was an urgent need, not only for a state-wide T2DM strategy, but for one that specifically addressed the needs of this population.
Despite significant research into the burden of T2DM experienced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, it remains a leading cause of disability and premature death. In the South Australian Aboriginal Health Survey 2011 , four in ten Aboriginal people living in remote communities reported a diagnosis of T2DM.
There are two main providers of healthcare to Aboriginal people in South Australia - the state government's Department for Health and Ageing (SA Health) and the federally-funded Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector. There is also a proportion of the Aboriginal population in SA that access private general practices for their primary care. An integrated, coordinated approach to T2DM prevention and management for Aboriginal people would help to achieve not only better health outcomes through more effective delivery of care but also, potentially, more efficient services across these sectors.

Given the epidemic proportions of T2DM among the Aboriginal population, it was imperative that a T2DM strategy should also provide a planned approach for the prevention and management of associated complications. Hence, the Strategy was developed not only in collaboration with Aboriginal people and T2DM service providers, but also with services that manage diabetes-related complications, specifically foot, cardiovascular, renal, retinal, oral and mental health conditions.
In addition, in order to guide the future orientation of services that will improve outcomes for Aboriginal people with T2DM, it was important to increase understanding of the system-level attributes that support the delivering of evidenced-based clinical management of T2DM within the primary healthcare setting. This included, for example: service governance structures, linkages with organisations, cultural safety, community engagement and partnerships, chronic disease delivery system design and clinical decision supports.
The information and knowledge collected during the development phase of the work not only informed A Strategy for Type 2 Diabetes Among Aboriginal People in South Australia; it also provided a baseline from which Aboriginal people themselves can monitor its implementation in collaboration with key health service and community stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAdelaide
Commissioning bodySA Health
Number of pages163
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2016

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