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Healthy hearts

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District

  • Translational Research Grants Scheme
Date Funded:
  • 14 May, 2018
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Pauline Brown

Aboriginal people have a disproportionately high burden of cardiovascular disease yet substantially lower rates of participation in cardiac rehabilitation compared to non-Aboriginal people. A family centred outreach model approach to cardiac rehabilitation may have multiple benefits including increasing participation in evidence based cardiac rehabilitation, culturally inclusive care and identifying and managing family members at risk of a cardiovascular event.

Primary research question:
1. Does a family centred, eight week outreach model improve uptake and completion of a secondary prevention program for Aboriginal patients discharged from hospital with selected cardiac conditions?

Secondary research questions:
2. Is a family centred outreach model, delivered in a community setting, acceptable to staff, index case and their household family members?
3. Does a family centred outreach model result in effective management of cardiovascular risk factors among family members and the index case?
4. What are the healthcare costs associated with the implementation of the model?

Quantitative methods will be employed for Question one, three and four. Data will be collected at baseline, and at six and 12 month follow up periods. Data collected will include participation rates, anthropometric measures, biomarkers, psychosocial status, lifestyle measures, medication compliance, and associated costs.
A qualitative approach, using focus groups, will be performed to explore the acceptability of the family centred outreach model, as outlined in Question two. The study has multiple benefits including:
* Increasing access to evidence based and culturally safe secondary prevention services, including for family members
* Statewide relevance and potential for adoption by other local health districts, cardiology services and adaptation to disciplines other than cardiology
* Aboriginal Health Workforce integration and professionalisation.

Collaborators: Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service, South Coast Aboriginal Medical Service, Heart Foundation, Agency for Clinical Innovation, NSW Ministry of Health, local health districts (Southern NSW, South Eastern Sydney)