Health-related behaviours in a remote Indigenous population with Type 2 diabetes: a Central Australian primary care survey in the Telehealth Eye and Associated Medical Services Network [TEAMSnet] project
AIM:There is a wealth of data concerning the health behaviours of Indigenous Australians, but the health behaviours of Indigenous Australians with diabetes are not systematically documented. At the clinical level, understanding a person's health behaviours can help identify and address barriers to diabetes care and promote good clinical outcomes. METHODS:We used a novel survey tool to systematically collect health behaviour data on Smoking, Nutrition, Alcohol consumption, Physical activity and Emotional well-being (SNAPE) from Indigenous Australians with Type 2 diabetes in a remote primary care setting in Alice Springs. RESULTS:At least one of the five surveys in the SNAPE tool was completed by 210 participants: 30% male, mean age 52.6 years (range 22.9 - 87.4). Fifty per cent of men and 23% of women were current smokers (P < 0.001). None of the participants reported an adequate intake of vegetables. Only 9.6% reported an adequate fruit intake. Some 49% of men and 32% of women consumed alcohol in the past year (P = 0.022), and 46% of drinkers were considered high-risk or likely-dependent drinkers. On average, participants walked 10 min or more at a time 6.0 days a week and spent 4.8 h sitting on a weekday. Mean adapted Patient Health Questionnaire 9 score was 4.61, with 34% of participants having mild depressive symptoms and 11% having moderate-severe depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS:Our SNAPE survey tool results present a high-risk, disadvantaged Indigenous population with Type 2 diabetes. More resources will be needed to sustainably implement interventions with the goal of improving health behaviours and subsequent long-term health.