A mixed-methods evaluation of an urban Aboriginal diabetes lifestyle program

Tamara Power, Leah East, Yu Gao, Kim Usher, Debra Jackson

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Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate an Aboriginal-led diabetes lifestyle program catering to urban Aboriginal people in an Aboriginal organisation. 

Methods: Mixed-methods study that employed routinely collected physiological data and audio-recorded focus group sessions. Physiological data were analysed using a multi-level model to account for participant clustering. Qualitative data were subject to thematic analysis. 

Results: Participants were overwhelmingly positive about the program. They lost weight and improved their diastolic blood pressure and glycaemic control; however, it was the feelings of belonging and optimism about their ability to improve their health that they most valued. Qualitative analysis revealed three main themes. These were: ‘With the Mob’, ‘For the Mob’ and ‘Program Elements. The strengths of the program lay in its indigeneity, low-cost and easy-to-prepare diet, and cultural and communication skills of the director. Conclusions: Recommendations for improvement included educating participants on the pathophysiology of diabetes, the refinement of online elements and the introduction of face-to-face group exercise.

Implications for public health: Programs of this nature should be expanded and evaluated longitudinally with multiple cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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