12-WEEK DIABETES PROGRAM PROVIDES BETTER OUTCOMES THAN 18 MONTHS OF USUAL CARE IN AUSTRALIAN GENERAL PRACTICE
A collaboration between Hunter Medicare Local, Ethos Health and the Stroud Medical Centre has shown that an innovative lifestyle management program, integrating the care of general practitioners, dietitians and exercise physiologists improves health outcomes for individuals with Type 2 diabetes in just 12 weeks.
The results were presented by Nerida Walker of Hunter Medicare Local and Dr Jane Watson of Ethos Health in November 2013 at the National Primary Health Care Conference.
Diabetes is the 6th highest cause of death by disease in Australia and is projected to become the number one burden of disease in Australia in the next five years (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010).
Diet and exercise are crucial for the effective management of diabetes. Poorly controlled diabetes causes damage to tissues and organs, and can lead to serious complications such as kidney failure and blindness.
The program is based on current evidence and guidelines. It has a strong emphasis on providing practical and visual resources which are provided online or in print according to the individual’s preference.
At the conclusion of the program there were positive improvements in bloods, weight and waist measurements. Importantly, participants felt less distress around managing their diabetes – which suggests they are better able to continue with the changes made and achieve further improvement in their diabetes management.
‘The program supported positive changes to eating and exercise habits. There were significant improvements in health measures, such as blood glucose and cholesterol, but I think the most striking outcomes were in the way participants reported feeling. Most reported markedly increased energy levels and a greater confidence to manage their diabetes. Evidence tells us that positive lifestyle changes, even for short periods, have the potential to vastly improve diabetes outcomes in the long term.’ Dr Jane Watson, Ethos Health.
Acting CEO for Hunter Medicare Local Bryan McLoughlin said “The program is a great example of how Medicare Locals are supporting local health providers to integrate their services and improve patient care. Our purpose as an organisation is to keep people well and out of hospital and programs like this help us achieve this and make our health system more efficient and sustainable”
The program, Diabetes Blitz, is running in Ethos Health practices and selected General Practices in Newcastle and Sydney. If you are interested in further information about the program, please contact Chris Morton, Practice Manager at Ethos Health on 4962 8700.