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Chronic Condition Management Strategies in Aboriginal Communities: Final Report 2011

The ‘Chronic Condition Management Strategies in Aboriginal Communities’ project (2008-2011) aimed to evaluate, and where possible develop and demonstrate effective and transferable chronic condition management strategies, and to generate research evidence about their processes, impacts and health outcomes.

A flexible participatory action research approach using mixed methods was chosen for the study design. Chronic condition management strategies were offered and supported as part of this action research project and processes and impacts explored through direct involvement, observation and interviews. Clinical data from the health service records of 36 clients involved in chronic condition management and semi-structured interviews with 18 clients and 12 staff were also analysed to identify benefits, barriers and enablers of chronic condition management strategies.

Key findings and outputs were organised into four areas:

  • Health improvements associated with chronic condition management
  • Benefits of chronic condition management
  • Barriers and enablers of chronic condition management strategies
  • Resources produced through the project
  • Capacity development outcomes

This project provides strong qualitative and quantitative evidence that people involved in structured chronic condition management strategies (eg care plans) improve their health and wellbeing over time. Such evidence of clinical effectiveness would strengthen bids for further funds and support for these strategies. A range of factors were identified that enable or hinder the introduction and sustainability of chronic condition management strategies, at health service, staff or client level. Attention to these factors would enhance the likelihood of successful transfer of chronic condition management strategies elsewhere.