Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have a significantly higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes than the overall Australian population. Issues such as social determinants of health, medication adherence, food security and medical comorbidities are important to consider when managing diabetes in these peoples.
- Simple medication regimens with once-daily dosing are preferred for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with diabetes.
- Check at every visit whether the individual is taking all their diabetes medications (poor HbA1c may be due to not taking all prescribed medications).
- Enquire about food supply and reliability of food intake.
- Resolve concerns with safekeeping of insulin in homes with small children.
- Show flexibility and arrive at mutually acceptable goals and means to achieve these goals.
- Understand the social determinants of health impacting on the person’s home and life situation.
- High staff turnover in remote primary health care is a challenge and strong interpersonal relationships between members of the primary health care team and between the team and the patient are crucial.