Oral Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Introducing ‘Feltmum®’: A diabetes in pregnancy education tool for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (#81)

Jennifer Browne 1 , Martin Plowman 2 , Colin Mitchell 2 , Mikaela Egan 1 , Keith Morgan 1 , Simone Andy 1 , Shakara Montalto 1 , Joy Kingdom 2 , Melissa Westhorpe 2 , Catherine Mcnamara 3 , Emily White 2
  1. Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Collingwood, VIC, Australia
  2. Diabetes Victoria, Melbourne
  3. Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg, VIC

In 2010, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and Diabetes Victoria launched the Feltman®[1] diabetes education tool, a culturally appropriate educational resource designed in consultation with Aboriginal communities. There are now more than 600 Feltman® kits in use across Australia. Despite the success of Feltman®, community feedback and program evaluation indicated that Feltman® did not adequately address diabetes in pregnancy and, in particular, gestational diabetes (GDM). To address this community need, Diabetes Victoria and VACCHO developed the Feltmum® add-on, a diabetes in pregnancy expansion kit that can be used to enhance the existing Feltman® resource. Feltmum® will assist workers in the Aboriginal health sector to provide diabetes education about prevention and management of diabetes in pregnancy. GDM is a significant health issue within Aboriginal communities, where rates are two to three times higher than the non-Aboriginal population. An expert working group including diabetes educators, midwives, dietitians and Aboriginal health workers was established to oversee the development of the project, and consultation with the Koori Maternity Services was undertaken to ensure the cultural relevance of the resource. The working group produced additional felt components, strength-based ‘key messages’ and an instructional video. For the implementation phase, Feltmum® was offered to all Victorian agencies who received the original Feltman® resource. Feltman® training was also updated to include the new Feltmum® content. The initial roll-out of Feltmum® was evaluated through measuring changes in training participants’ knowledge about diabetes in pregnancy; their confidence in using the resource; and their uptake and usage of the resource kit three months post-training. This presentation will provide an overview of the Feltmum® evaluation findings after the first year of implementation, and showcase the potential for this resource to strengthen the prevention and management of diabetes in pregnancy for future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

[1] Feltman® and Feltmum® are registered trademarks of VACCHO and Diabetes Victoria