Project Title: ‘Doing it together’- innovative peer-support and peer-led education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth living with type 2 diabetes
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in Northern Australia is the highest in the world. Only 14% of these young people currently meet glycaemic targets, highlighting a need to strengthen care.
Work undertaken by our team has identified key issues facing youth living with diabetes, including isolation, stigma and shame. Young people have requested new methods of strengths-based engagement by health services, including peer-support and appropriate and effective communication and education. Our work has also identified challenges faced by primary health care services when a young person is diagnosed with diabetes, impacting their capacity to provide effective support. This study is a hybrid implementation-effectiveness pilot-evaluation of co-designed face-to-face and remote peer-support and peer-led diabetes education models for young people living with type 2 diabetes in the Big Rivers region of the NT, aiming to enhance health and wellbeing outcomes.
Nathan Rosas, acting CEO of Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service):
"Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service supports this project which aims to address the impact that diabetes has on the health, wellbeing and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth through innovative, strengths-based, culturally appropriate peer-support and peer-led education for young people living with type 2 diabetes. This is a very important area of concern for all of our Board members and we need to be working where we can to improve diabetes outcomes. We need to develop new methods of engagement with affected young people."
Dr Angela Titmuss, Project Lead:
"This project has developed from the work that Menzies School of Health Research has already been doing across northern Australia regarding youth-onset type 2 diabetes. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people have the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the world however young people, communities and health services have clearly told us that current models of care struggle to meet their needs or improve health outcomes. This project aims to draw on the strengths, skills and capacity of young people living with type 2 diabetes to overcome the shame, stigma and isolation that many feel. The project, in partnership with health services across the Big Rivers region of the NT (an area covering 360 000 square kilometres), will co-design peer-support and peer-led diabetes education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people living with diabetes. We know that young people have skills and capacity as agents of change and support to each other and we want to build on these strengths."
TTRA Project Round: Three
Project Lead: Dr Angela Titmuss
State: Northern Territory
- Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service
- Katherine West Health Board
- NT Health
- TTRA: $995,325
- Co-contribution: $203,939 in-kind
Duration: September 2023 – August 2025
X (formerly Twitter): @MenziesResearch