$60,000 grant to answer service gaps for Chinese Australians with diabetes

Monash University and Carrington Health will receive $60,000 from the ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation to conduct a pilot project ‘不再慌糖講座 Not Scared of Sugar’ to help Chinese Australians who are currently missing out from structured diabetes education services.

“Currently there is a lack of culturally appropriate diabetes education for the Chinese Australians,” said Tammie Choi, Dietitian Researcher at Monash University, the Lead Investigator of this project.

Studies have shown that Chinese Australians don’t like the translated diabetes care model and miss out on health professionals’ support and care.

“They tend to rely on unstructured and potentially misleading diabetes management information and many of my Chinese patients expressed feeling lost and overwhelmed,” Ms Choi added.

After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few years ago, a Hong Kong Melbournian couple attended translated consultations with a diabetes educator and a dietitian.

“The individual consultations with professionals are good but we are not used to being at the centre of attention so we felt very uncomfortable and we did not return to the review appointments.”

In Hong Kong, we go to community centres to attend presentations and seminars to get health information,” said Mr Lee.

This project will enable Chinese Australians with diabetes to live well every day by providing culturally-tailored diabetes education programs in the format that matches their expectations and measuring its effectiveness.

“Through this study we hope to use the diabetes education program as a forum to reconnect the affected Chinese people with health services and support them better in their diabetes self-management,” said Ms Choi.

Chair of the Research Foundation Council Chair, Professor Trisha Dunning believes this is an important study, “this culturally tailored Chinese diabetes education program can improve clinical outcomes for participants and has implications for other populations in Australia,” said Professor Dunning.

Launched last year by the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, on World Diabetes Day this year, the ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation will fund three universities in Australia and their partners to conduct research projects that help Australians with diabetes to live well every day.