Delivery of preventive health services to Indigenous adults: response to a systems-oriented primary care quality improvement intervention

D. Si, R.S. Bailie, M. Dowden, L. O'Donoghue, C. Connors, G.W. Robinson, J. Cunningham, J.R. Condon, Tarun Weeramanthri

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29 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: To describe changes in delivery of preventive services among adults in Aboriginal communities that occurred in association with a systems-oriented intervention.Design, setting and participants: A quality improvement intervention with a 2-year follow-up was undertaken at 12 Aboriginal community health centres in the Northern Territory between January 2002 and December 2005. The study involved 360 well adults aged 16-49 years who had no known diagnosis of chronic disease.Intervention: Two annual cycles of assessment, feedback workshops, action planning, and implementation of system changes. Assessment included a structured review of health service systems and an audit of clinical records.Main outcome measures: Adherence to guideline-scheduled preventive services including taking basic measurements, laboratory investigations, lifestyle counselling and pneumococcal vaccination.Results: Of 12 preventive services measured, delivery of four services showed improvement over the study period: counselling on diet increased from 3% to 8% (P= 0.018); counselling on physical activity from 2% to 8% (P= 0.006); counselling on smoking from 2% to 11 % (P= 0.003); and counselling on alcohol from 2% to 10% (P = 0.007). There was no improvement in important measures such as monitoring of waist circumference, blood pressure and blood glucose level, and delivery of pneumococcal vaccination.Conclusion: Our systems-oriented intervention was associated with some improvement in counselling activities, but no significant improvement in delivery of other preventive services. The main reason may be that implementation focused more on chronic illness management than preventive services for generally well adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-457
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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