Diabetes is a growing health concern in Australia, with a diagnosed prevalence of approximately 4%, and a further 4% of the population estimated to be undiagnosed. Approximately half of people with diabetes have sub-optimal glycaemic control. The complications of poorly managed diabetes impact on quality of life, morbidity, mortality and health care costs. Medication management, physical activity, healthy eating and stress reduction are the four pillars of diabetes management. These lifestyle changes can be difficult for people with diabetes. Minimal research has been undertaken that explores how homes and communities can support, or make it difficult, for people with diabetes to undertake and sustain these behaviours. With support from a Faculty Seed Grant, a pilot study explored the most frequent and important barriers and facilitators to diabetes self-management. Two comparative methodologies were employed. Nominal group technique was used to brainstorm and prioritise barriers and facilitators in both homes and communities through focus groups. Additionally, an experiential sampling method captured everyday barriers and facilitators, as participants respond to one SMS per day for 30 days asking “What made it easy or difficult to management your medications, physical activity, healthy eating and stress today?” The data was collected from May to June 2014. Results of the pilot study will be presented at University Research Week. Proposed future research will further develop, implement and evaluate clear guidelines for improving homes and communities to support diabetes self-management. This may facilitate interventions at both individual and public health levels.
2014 University Research Conference: Communicate, Collaborate, Connect, Sunshine Coast, Australia 14-18 July 2014