Yarning about foot care: evaluation of a foot care service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
journal contributionposted on 10.05.2022, 01:12 by M West, S Sadler, J Charles, F Hawke, S Lanting, Shannon MunteanuShannon Munteanu, V Chuter
Background: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have high rates of diabetes-related foot disease including foot ulcer and amputation. There has been limited evaluation of foot care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This project aimed to evaluate an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander foot care service (the Buridja Clinic) for prevention and management of diabetes-related foot disease embedded in a university podiatry program from a Community perspective using culturally appropriate methods. Methods: This mixed-methods study took place from March 2018 to April 2021 in the Buridja Clinic on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia, and included an audit of occasions of service (March 2018 to March 2020), and review of the Buridja Clinic via research yarns with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients of the clinic and a written 10-item customised clinic feedback survey. Research yarns were transcribed and analysed thematically. Descriptive analysis of quantitative occasions of use and survey data was undertaken, with the open-ended survey responses thematically analysed. Results: Total occasions of service across the review period was 548, with a total of 199 individual clients treated. Most common service types were general treatments (nail and skin care) and diabetes assessments. Nine participants who attended the Buridja Clinic were recruited to the two research yarns. An additional 52 participants who attended the clinic completed the customised clinic feedback survey. Specific clinic design elements, including yarning circles and group booking as well as student placement, were identified as strengths of the clinic. Participants reported difficulty with transport and restricted opening hours and encouraged increased Community engagement by clinic staff. Conclusion: Evaluation of a foot care service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples embedded in a university-based podiatry program demonstrated that the incorporation of specific service design elements, including yarning circles and group appointments as well as student placements, encouraged ongoing Community engagement with the service. Participants reported improved foot health, greater foot and self-care knowledge, and overall better general health and management as a result of attendance to the clinic. Consideration needs to be given to addressing limited access to transport and flexible operating hours when establishing similar services. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.] Artist Jenni McEwen (Bundjalung) lives on Darkinjung Country. The story of her art shows people sitting in yarning circles sharing knowledges but looking outwards to connect with Country too, the Ochre of Wiradjuri Country around Wellington, and the Blue of Darkinjung Country around Central Coast. These are locations where podiatry service provision takes place. These are locations where everyone is sharing and learning. Students, teachers, patients, non-Indigenous people, and First Nations people, learning from each other, and learning from Country.