Bond PhD candidate Kate Odgers-Jewell is about to launch a six week program, titled the Bond Diabetes Intervention (BDI), involving participants over the age of 18 years who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) - and is keen to recruit more volunteers.
With the prevalence of chronic diseases rising in Australia and the cost of chronic disease management estimated to be around $56 billion*, this research study could ultimately lead to the saving of lives and millions of dollars.
The $56 billion estimate represented 65% of Australia’s total health care expenditure in 2005* and that figure is believed to be much higher currently.
Ms Odgers-Jewell said the aim of the study was to develop health services that treat, manage, and prevent chronic diseases and their co-morbidities in a timely and cost effective manner.
“Chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, heart and respiratory disease are estimated to be responsible for approximately 80 percent of the total burden of diseases in Australia,” she said.
“Patient education is the cornerstone of chronic disease self-management and is essential in achieving improved outcomes for chronic disease patients.
“We are seeking volunteers to participate in a study which aims to assess the impact of Bond’s group-based, patient-directed lifestyle modification program (BDI) in comparison to a structured group education program and usual care.
“Group-based education programs can be more efficient and cost effective for the education of chronic disease patients, when compared to individual counselling or usual care.
“Group education programs offer many potential advantages over individual visits, with group programs allowing time for the provision of more detailed information, decreasing time demands on health workers, allowing the easy incorporation of families and carers, and facilitating patient support from others facing the same challenges.
“Our program has been designed with the aim of improving type 2 diabetes patients’ diabetes knowledge, self-care activities, and quality of life.”
The free, six-week, group-based lifestyle modification program will be run from the Robina Community Centre with participants required to attend an initial 30 minute appointment with the primary researcher, followed by two hour sessions weekly over the period, involving a number of health professionals.
“The total time commitment from participants will be less than eight hours over a three month period and it is anticipated that the data collected during the study will assist us in understanding how best to educate and support people with type 2 diabetes,” she said.
“The benefit for participants is that they better understand their condition and how to manage their lifestyles to reduce the negative impacts of their disease and optimise their quality of life. Participants will have the opportunity to ask any questions of the health professionals facilitating the groups, and to discuss any issues that they may have relating to their diagnosis with both peers and health professionals.
“It is all about developing a pilot program that offers cost effective and successful outcomes for the management, and where possible prevention, of chronic diseases.”
Anyone interested in participating should contact Kate at Bond University on [email protected] or call (07) 55 953 037. The program will be starting 26th August.