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Experiences and impact of a rural Australian high‐risk foot service_ A multiple‐methods study_CQU.pdf (4.1 MB)

Experiences and impact of a rural Australian high-risk foot service: A multiple-methods study

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-17, 23:45 authored by PE Tehan, H Donnelly, E Martin, Benjamin PetersonBenjamin Peterson, F Hawke
Objective: Most podiatry-led high-risk foot services (HRFS) in Australia are located in metropolitan areas or large regional centres. In rural areas, where there are limited specialist services, individuals with diabetes-related foot ulceration are more likely to undergo amputation. This study aimed to explore clinicians' perceptions of a recently implemented HRFS in rural New South Wales, Australia, and compare trends of amputation and hospitalisation prior to and post-implementation of the service. Setting: Rural HRFS in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. Participants: Health professionals working within the HRFS were recruited to participate. Design: This was a multiple-methods study. For the qualitative arm, semi-structured interviews were conducted, which were analysed using a reflexive thematic approach. The quantitative arm of the study utilised a retrospective analytic design which applied an interrupted time series to compare amputation and hospitalisation trends pre- and post-implementation of the HRFS utilising diagnostic and procedural ICD codes. Results: The qualitative arm of the study derived three themes: (1) navigating the divide, (2) rural community and rural challenges and (3) professional identity. Results of the interrupted time series indicate that there was a downward trend in major amputations following implementation of the HRFS; however, this was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Clinicians were aware of the inequity in DFD outcomes between rural and metropolitan areas and were committed to improving outcomes, particularly with respect to First Nations peoples. Future research will explore service use and amputation rates in the longer term to further evaluate this specialised multidisciplinary care in a rural community.

Funding

Category 4 - CRC Research Income

History

Volume

32

Issue

2

Start Page

286

End Page

298

Number of Pages

13

eISSN

1440-1584

ISSN

1038-5282

Publisher

Wiley

Publisher License

CC BY

Additional Rights

CC BY 4.0

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • Yes

Acceptance Date

2024-01-22

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Medium

Print-Electronic

Journal

Australian Journal of Rural Health

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