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In 2013 Diabetes WA commenced preliminary work in partnership with WA Aboriginal communities to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of the existing DESMOND model for Aboriginal people with diabetes.

Initially, the DESMOND program was delivered to Aboriginal communities ‘as is’ with feedback collected from participants, Aboriginal health professionals and other observers. Through this process numerous adaptations to increase the suitability of the program for Aboriginal communities were identified.

Charles Darwin University, in partnership with Diabetes WA, 1successfully applied for funding through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to determine:

  1. whether the DESMOND model adapted for Aboriginal Australians is experienced as culturally appropriate, safe and secure
  2. the effectiveness of the adapted DESMOND program for Aboriginal Australians, to enhance individuals’ self-management capability, improve their social-emotional well-being, reduce smoking rates and improve metabolic markers of diabetes control
  3. how to enable long-term sustainability and fidelity of the DESMOND program in regional, rural remote and Aboriginal community contexts.

“This project will address complex questions around how best to provide high quality, culturally appropriate, sustainable care for Aboriginal, disadvantaged and resource poor populations with diabetes and other chronic conditions,” said Professor Timothy Skinner, School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences, Charles Darwin University and Chief Investigator. “Given the rise of diabetes in developing countries, this research will have global relevance in how to provide sustainable high quality primary diabetes care.”

This grant is supported by leading researchers from Charles Darwin University, Menzies School of Health Research, the University of Newcastle, the University of Western Australia and the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

For more information email DESMOND Development Project Coordinator Melissa Robinson.