Complex diabetes screening guidelines for high-risk adolescent Aboriginal Australians: A barrier to implementation in primary health care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study is to ascertain whether a simplified screening algorithm incorporating glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) tests increases type 2 diabetes (T2D) screening in 10- to 14-year-old Aboriginal Australians presenting to primary healthcare (PHC) services. The study involved a 6-month pilot of a locally developed evidence-based screening algorithm in a remote Western Australian Kimberley town. A retrospective audit of electronic health records for the pilot period (27 June-26 December 2016) and a 6-month period before the screening algorithm was introduced (1 October 2015-31 March 2016) was conducted. Interviews were held with 30 PHC staff at participating PHC services, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) and a hospital-based general practice service. During the pilot, significantly more patients received an initial T2D screening test at the ACCHS (28/130 (22%) v. 50/139 (36%), P = 0.011), but there was no change at the hospital (0.02% v. 0.02%, P = 0.615). Staff feedback suggested measures to improve screening these include simple guidelines, targeted screening, patient and staff education, point-of-care HbA1c tests and a whole-of-clinic approach to implementation. Implementing a screening algorithm for young-onset diabetes in Aboriginal Australians is challenging, but practical measures can be taken to improve screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-508
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2019


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