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Despite the widespread prevalence of diabetes, only half of those with the disease are receiving adequate treatment. And only half of these are getting treatment that will prevent further complications. Diabetes is a growing concern for the population and the impact it has on the health system.

This CAG has been set-up to address these concerns through the following:

  1. Preventing and reducing diabetes and metabolic disease
  2. Preventing diabetes and its effects during pregnancy
  3. Preventing and reducing its long-term complications
  4. Reducing the impact of Type 1 diabetes and identifying other rare forms of the disease
  5. Creating new, integrated, cost-effective ways of working across healthcare and the community.

Our overarching goal is to improve the health outcomes and lives of people with diabetes, obesity and metabolic disorders, taking a life course perspective, through our research.

Activity

Diabetes, obesity and metabolic disease begin during the transition age of 16-25 years. Yet, there has been very little work done that targets this group. It’s why we have made it our priority to prevent and limit disease in this age group.

We are doing this through the following projects:

  • Diabetes Contraception and Pre-Pregnancy Program (DCAPP)
    In South Western Sydney, the rates of congenital malformations among women with Type 1 and 2 Diabetes are 11% in Campbelltown and 6.8% in Liverpool. These rates are alarming when compared with the national average of 2% and are the reason for the DCAPP program.

    Through this program we will:
    - Increase awareness of the risk of unplanned pregnancy among women of childbearing age who have diabetes
    - Increase the use of contraception within this population
    - Provide clinical guidelines to healthcare professionals
    - Promote the benefits of multi-disciplinary pre-pregnancy clinics to diabetic women who have decided to become pregnant.
     
  • Prevention Project
    There is still a lot of work to be done in the area of diabetes and obesity prevention. While there are lifestyle programs that advise the population on healthy ways to avoid the disease, not enough is being done to prevent the disease. We are investing in prevention projects, particularly for the 16-25 year age group, and Aboriginal and CALD communities. The prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes is higher and the onset younger in these communities.
     
  • Transition Project
    There is no ideal approach when it comes to this type of diabetes care. A lot of work has already been done in the Transition group across Maridulu Budyari Gumal. We intend to hold onto this and facilitate systems change.

    Program Leads
    - Prof. David Simmons
    - Dr Ann Poynten
    - Prof. Jerry Greenfield
    - Prof. Maria Craig
     
  • Integrated Diabetes Care Action Group
    This group unites healthcare practitioners, policy makers and consumers to develop an Integrated Diabetes Care plan for New South Wales. Members of the group include representatives from across South Eastern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Western Sydney, Hunter New England and St Vincent’s Hospital Network.

Team

Our team includes leaders from across a wide spectrum of skill-sets, organisations and disciplines. They hail from universities, hospitals, local health districts, research and neuroscience institutes, technology companies, and multicultural centres.

As a collaborative, our life course approach to diabetes allows us to work across each stakeholder group. It means we can link our individual and group projects, mutually support each other and inspire new projects.

Working together this way while focusing on just one age group is an efficient and streamlined way to get results. It allows us to implement a single program across existing health services, supported by communities, patients and industry. This will create a framework for networking organisations to address diabetes and obesity. Once the network is in place, other programs - such as diabetes in other age groups - can be developed.

Vision

To harness research, educational and clinical expertise across our partners to develop, trial - and where appropriate - implement new health interventions for diabetes, obesity and related metabolic disorders.

Impact
Effective
research 
translation
Widespread
professional 
collaboration
Economic
benefit

In 6 months, the DCAPP program has had a positive impact on 138 pharmacists, 12 private clinics and 111 GPs. Educational resources have been provided across all SWSLHD public hospitals and translated into Arabic, Vietnamese and Chinese.

We’re breaking down the barriers with the Aboriginal community. We’re co-creating research and models of care for the first time with this community. And ensuring everything we do is created in partnership.

It is anticipated that through our DCAPP program, we will improve the quality of life of an at-risk population with a savings of $10m of lifetime costs.

Prevent diabetes:

For more information about the work of our CAG, contact Chris Pitt, Project Officer.