Deakin Rural Health

Cardiovascular Disease

Access and Outcomes to Cardiovascular Disease Services in Rural and Remote Australia

In a cardiac emergency every minute counts and for the prevention of a secondary event every healthy year after is important.  This project will use the Cardiac ARIA index  to develop an understanding of the geographic dimensions of cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes using novel methods led by experts in geography, epidemiology and health. Understanding how access to cardiac services influences CVD outcomes is critical in ensuring equitable and cost effective services in Australia.

Data on mortality, hospitalisations, and emergency presentations from South Australia (SA) and the Northern Territory (NT) will be used to determine if cardiac services are providing the community with the best outcomes during and after a cardiac event.

This study aimed to:

  1. Validate the objective utility of the Cardiac ARIA index by determining the association between the index score and cardiac morbidity and mortality rates within the population of SA and NT.
  2. Determine if this relationship is modified by the demographic characteristics of a population location. The results of this study will determine hot spots in SA/NT where there is a mismatch between need and access.

A Controlled Evaluation of the Australasian Peers for Progress Diabetes Program (PfP-DP) and its Transferability to Other Countries

This project aimed to evaluate the Australian peer-supported program for people with type 2 diabetes. Worldwide the “Peers for Progress” programs aim to address the global diabetes epidemic by extending the evidence base for peer support, establishing peer support as a core component of diabetes care and building a network of peer support programs around the world.  The Peers for Progress clinical trial has finished data collection and is in the analysis stage. The protocol paper has already been published.

A Pragmatic Trial of Stepped Care Intervention for People with Depression and Cardiac Failure

This project examined the effectiveness of a stepped care model of treatment for people with co-morbid depression and cardiovascular disease. Depressive symptoms, quality of life, and physical and social functioning were examined.  The efficacy of treatment and the enablers and barriers of effective treatment within the system were also studied.

Depression_Treatment Evaluation Care Team (D_TECT)(Chronic Disease Management of Co-morbid Depression, Heart Disease and Diabetes – Stage 1)

This project examined the clinical pathways for patients with co-morbid depression and diabetes using six general practices in the National Primary Care Collaboratives, which were required to set up chronic disease management systems with databases for recall. The project sought to determine where best to identify and intervene for patients with diabetes and depression.

Evidence-Based Best Practice Model Clinical Pathways for People with Co-Morbid Depression and Coronary Heart Disease

This project examined the clinical pathways for patients with heart disease across health care settings. It:

  1. Explored the literature on prevalence, assessment and treatment of co-morbid depression and heart disease, as well as current activities of clinical pathways for these conditions
  2. Process mapped the care provided to Coronary Heart Disease patients to identify basic elements and timeframes that are currently used to deliver patient care as well as problem points in the existing process
  3. Identified best practice model clinical pathways for the Coronary Heart Disease patient group based on health provider interviews and patient discovery interviews
  4. Informed the implementation of a pilot phase of clinical pathway in a general practice setting in the GGT region and guidelines for best practice in primary care settings for this patient group

This project was completed in May 2006.

Limestone Coast Risk Factor Survey

The first of the Risk Factor Surveys undertaken by the GGT UDRH investigated the prevalence of major cardiovascular disease risk factors among the general population in the Limestone Coast region in south east South Australia.

During 2004, this pilot population non-communicable risk factor survey was undertaken for a random sample of 1,120 persons aged between 25 and 74 years. The survey measured major chronic disease risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and weight, as well as many behavioural factors such as smoking, physical activity and dietary habits. In total, 245 females and 233 males participated in comprehensive health checks and a further 47 women and 27 men completed a questionnaire. Participation rate amongst those invited to join the study was 53% for females and 48% for males.

Information gathered from the survey has been used for epidemiological research and the development of targeted disease prevention programs in the Greater Green Triangle region.

Corangamite Risk Factor Survey (Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease – A Rural Perspective)

This second risk factor survey was undertaken in the Corangamite Shire, south west Victoria. The survey aimed to estimate the prevalence of recognised risk factors for cardiovascular disease; to raise community awareness about cardiovascular disease and to provide a comprehensive ‘health screen’ for participating volunteers.

Out of a sample of 1,000 persons aged between 25 and 74 years, a total of 224 females and 189 males participated in comprehensive health checks. Participation rate amongst those invited to join the study was 46% for females and 39% for males.

Wimmera Risk Factor Survey (Greater Green Triangle Cardiovascular Risk Factor Study Wimmera Sub Study)

The final of three risk factor surveys undertaken by the GGT UDRH estimated the prevalence of recognised risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the population in the Wimmera region, north west Victoria. The study also raised community awareness about cardiovascular disease and provided comprehensive ‘health screening’ for participants.

The survey randomly sampled approximately 1,200 people aged 25-74 years, with an additional sample of 300 persons aged between 75 and 84 years. The survey provided valuable information about the health of people living in this region and about the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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