[singlepic id=282 w=320 h=240 float=left]Innisfail has been selected as the pilot site for an intensive diabetes initiative modelled on the success of a Finnish lifestyle intervention project that aims to prevent type 2 diabetes in at-risk people.
More than $600,000 has been allocated to expand the existing Cairns and Hinterland Health Service District project, known as ’The Healthier Great Green Way’ initiative.
The Finnish project demonstrated that a large scale, targeted prevention and early intervention model can significantly reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the community.
The National Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program in Finland: FIN-D2D identified 20 000 individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These individuals were then referred to lifestyle interventions delivered by local multidisciplinary teams that assisted each individual to make beneficial lifestyle changes including increased physical activity and weight reduction. This model achieved results, with at risk individuals achieving significant weight loss maintained at one year follow-up.
Queensland is set to learn from the Fins with a similar initiative is being piloted as part of the Bligh Government’s recently announced $7.5 million suite of diabetes prevention, early intervention and management initiatives.
Premier Anna Bligh said the results would indicate if and how the model could be adopted in other communities across the State.
“Innisfail was considered an ideal pilot site because a network of health partnerships dealing with chronic diseases already exists in this community,” Ms Bligh said.
“The Healthier Great Green Way is a coalition involving Queensland Health, the Far North Queensland Rural Division of General Practice and Mamu Health Service Ltd.
“Planning for the roll-out of the pilot project is already underway – we expect we will start delivering this new, more personalised model of care from November.
“The aim of the pilot will be to intervene in the lifestyles of people at risk of developing type 2 as well as those recently diagnosed with the disease.
“What this means for patients is they will be referred directly by their GP into group-based or specialist programs that address key risk factors like physical activity and nutrition.
“It means there will be more options and more support for people trying to make meaningful and lasting changes in their lives, for example improving diet, increasing physical activity and quitting smoking.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas said group-based educational programs, specialist interventions and individual health coaching would be augmented, where necessary, with appropriate medications to bring cholesterol and blood pressure under control.
“All these programs combined will improve support for people who are trying to make changes in their lives and develop strategies to manage their condition,” Mr Lucas said.
Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said this model of care has been shown to result in weight loss, delayed development of complications and an improved quality of life for participants.
“We hope the pilot will show aggressive early interventions for people who had been recently diagnosed or are at high risk of developing diabetes significantly improves their long-term diabetes management.”
The $7.5M diabetes prevention, early intervention and management package announced by the Bligh Government includes a range of initiatives:
- Diabetes risk identification and awareness through community pharmacies
- Register and recall system for women who develop gestational diabetes
- Enhanced education and professional development support for general practitioners
- Indigenous chronic disease care in Far North Queensland
- An expansion of a telephone-delivered one-on-one health coaching for Queenslanders with type 2 diabetes.