If you can't understand or adapt diabetes advice from health
professionals to suit your lifestyle, you probably won't follow
Diabetes Queensland has recently partnered with Brisbane South
PHN to identify culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)
communities to help address this issue.
For the past three months, Diabetes Queensland has been working
with local Maori and Pacific Islander, and Arabic-speaking
communities to make the
DESMOND program (Diabetes Education Self Management
Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) more culturally appropriate for these
These communities experience both increased rates of avoidable
diabetes-related hospitalisations and preventable diabetes
These statistics, along with a strong desire and motivation from
the communities to see positive change, helped Diabetes Queensland
to find out whether the DESMOND program would be effective and
suitable for these CALD groups.
Elham Monsef, from Brisbane South PHN, said: "This partnership
is important as it's responding to the need identified by primary
care providers and the community. Having a culturally adapted
DESMOND program for people with newly diagnosed diabetes to attend
supports quality care and better health outcomes."
Two community 'expert reference groups' were formed, including
people living with diabetes, their families, health professionals
and other interested community members. Participants advised on how
to adapt DESMOND to incorporate culturally appropriate foods,
religious practices and beliefs, and family structures to make the
program more effective for people from their communities.
From this feedback, Diabetes Queensland and the Brisbane South
PHN can pilot an adapted program and tailor resources for each
group, then refine it further after feedback from the expert
Manal Aqrawe, from the expert reference group for the Arabic
community, said:, "I have worked as a medical doctor for more than
20 years in my original country Iraq, and we can do more for our
community to control this progressive and chronic condition by
attending, collaborating and creating through the DESMOND
The best people to facilitate diabetes education for diverse
cultural groups are people from the community, so Diabetes
Queensland will be training people from each community to become
This was key feedback from consultation with the Maori and
Pacific Islander community: We need to build on the strengths of
the community, rather than just try to fix the "problems".
We'll share further updates later in the year as we pilot the
adapted programs and our new educators start to plan their sessions
for next year.