Poster Presentation Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2016

An evaluation: Educating primary healthcare nurses in general practice to better manage patients with diabetes (#381)

Sian Bramwell 1 , Mani Manoharan 1 , Diana Dous 2 , Anandhi Murugesan 1 , Glen Maberly 1
  1. Western Sydney Diabetes, Integrated and community Health Directorate and Blacktown Hospital Departement of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Western Sydney Local Health District, Blacktown, NSW, Australia
  2. Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WSPHN), Blacktown, NSW, Australia

Background: Diabetes has become the highest burden of disease in Australia, with Western Sydney (WS) identified as a diabetes hotspot. The WS Diabetes initiative is building the capacity of general practice to enhance the management of type 2 diabetes through specialist/GP case conferences, HealthPathways, Integrated Care, and GP phone support lines. We recognised that primary healthcare nurses (PN) are ideally placed to provide self-management education, but many reported they need further education with cost and time cited as barriers.

Aim: To improve PN knowledge and confidence to provide basic diabetes self-management education and enhancing diabetes management in primary care.

Methods: Four education sessions of two hours duration each were delivered over 6 weeks. Each session consisted of 3-5 presentations. Promotion and registration was through WSPHN. 48 PNs registered from 26 different practices. 26 attended all 4 sessions and 30 completed a pre course needs assessment. A questionnaire to assess PN confidence to manage diabetes was conducted before the first session and on completion of session 4. Topics were: ‘Screening for diabetes’, ‘Targets for diabetes’, ‘Lifestyle modification’, ‘Foot checks’, ‘Commencing insulin’, ‘Diabetes cycle of care’. Responses were rated from ‘1’ (not-at-all confident) to ‘4’ (very confident).

Findings: Post confidence assessment showed statistically significant improvement, averaging 25.5% in feeling ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ across all topics (pre-62.5%: post-88%) except ‘Diabetes cycle of care’. Amongst PNs reporting feeling ‘not at all confident’, an average of 14% decrease was seen (pre-15%: post-0.6%).

Discussion: The sessions were highly appreciated and effective at improving PN confidence in key areas of diabetes education. This is a novel way of building primary care capacity to manage diabetes. The sessions will be repeated annually using a similar format with some key sessions made available online providing flexibility and convenience to PN who are unable to attend the sessions.