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Tharawal Holistic Indigenist Metabolic Clinic: A replicability and adaptability study to improve metabolic health in Aboriginal clients of an Aboriginal Medical Service

South Western Sydney Local Health District

Grant:
  • Translational Research Grants Scheme
Date Funded:
  • 1 July, 2022
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Nathan Jones

Project Summary

Tharawal Holistic Indigenist Specialist Interdisciplinary Metabolic Clinic: A replicability and adaptability study to improve metabolic health in Aboriginal clients of an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS).

The main researcher for this project is Mr Nathan Jones.

What is the issue for NSW?

Overweight/obesity affects 4 in 5 Aboriginal people in New South Wales compared to 2 in 3 non-Aboriginal people. Of the 6,000 Aboriginal people that live in Southwest Sydney, it is likely that up to 4,000 adults are living with clinically severe obesity, leading to a higher rate of morbidity and mortality than the non-Aboriginal community. The associated burden of obesity-related diseases poses considerable long term health challenges. Having a significant number of adults with clinically severe obesity leads to an increased health burden for families and the community, which is why a culturally safe, strength-based program is required. The difficulties experienced by many Aboriginal Australians in accessing specialist services due to cultural, social, communication, and structural barriers when not integrated within an AMS setting can be ameliorated by placing these services in community-controlled organisations designed to improve social and health outcomes.

What does the research aim to do and how?

The aim of this research is to evaluate the health and social outcomes, replicability and implementation, acceptability, and cost effectiveness of the adaptation of an effective mainstream metabolic service as a satellite metabolic rehabilitation program at Tharawal AMS (TAMS). Specifically, using the RE-AIM framework this trial will examine the following: 1) the impact of health and social outcomes among participants; 2) the enablers and barriers for the successful adaptation of the intervention; 3) the perceived cultural acceptability of the intervention; and 4) the average costs of the intervention, and the mean cost benefit of each cohort of participants, via a net present value (NPV).

The project will assess:

  • The program will be replicated successfully and adapted to be culturally appropriate for Aboriginal participants
  • The biometric data of participants will improve, specifically a decrease of greater than 5% body weight.
  • The program’s barriers and facilitators and core components will be identified to increase replicability for other communities and services.