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Evaluation of the NSW Indigenous Diabetic Foot Program for health workers whose primary role is with Aboriginal people in the lower mid north coast

Public health Aboriginal Australians Indigenous health Diseases Diabetes Economic development Australia

This paper assesses the effectiveness of a new diabetes education program for Indigenous Health Workers.

The Indigenous diabetic foot program (IDFP) provides educational programs for both Indigenous Health Workers (IHWs) and Indigenous patients who have diabetes. Components of the program include information on foot complications of diabetes, encouraging self-care and a screening tool for identifying those at high risk of foot complications (DART). This evaluation assessed the effectiveness of the education program for IHWs by measuring the knowledge gained by the IHWs and the integration of the screening tools into clinical practice.

Results showed that after the workshop IHW participants had increased their knowledge levels, and that this knowledge was sustained over at least a six month time period. Of particular note, the lowest score in the six month follow-up knowledge questionnaire was higher than the highest score in the pre-workshop knowledge questionnaire.

The study also found that while the participants found the IDFP to be beneficial, the uptake and implementation of the screening program was low (55%).

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