Screening for Type 2 diabetes
BY LIZ KATYNSKI
Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, November / December 2012
Sandy Bay First Nation has one of the
highest rates of amputation due to diabetes
in the province. But that is changing, thanks
to research led by Dr. Sharon Bruce.
An associate professor in Community
Health Sciences at the University of
Manitoba's Faculty of Medicine, Bruce
launched a study in 2002 to determine the
burden of diabetes-related problems and if
people were getting the care they needed to
manage their condition.
Diabetes can often lead to a number of
health complications, including circulatory
problems and nerve damage in the lower
limbs. This can lead to amputation unless the
patient receives proper care.
That wasn't happening at Sandy Bay. Of
the 101 people identified with diabetes, 14
had advanced foot complications requiring
specialist physician care, and 26 required
regular foot care nursing. All of them had
neuropathy - nerve damage that decreases
sensation in the foot, and an early indication
of problems to come. At the time, there was
one foot-care nurse visiting the community
monthly who was able to see 10 clients per
trip. The people identified by the study were
on a waiting list for foot-care services.
The study helped bring about change in
the delivery of diabetes foot-care services.
The Sandy Bay Home and Community Care
Program took over foot-care services and
now all people with diabetes have access to
foot care. "We provided the information to
the community and they made changes to
the way foot care is delivered," says Bruce.
"Now (people with diabetes) get a basic foot
exam every year and referrals to a physician
as needed," she says.
Bruce did the study with four community
research assistants as well as her graduate
student, Dhiwya Attawar, and a Sandy Bay
community diabetes advisory group. Their
work continues. "We are now developing
a community-based diabetes prevention
program," she says. "When research
information translates into action, it is very
rewarding to see that information used and
some good come out of it."
Back to "Research for better health"
Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.
Read the November / December 2012 issue of Wave