Improving Diabetes Care in the British Columbia Southern Interior: Developing Community‒University Initiatives to Address Service Gaps
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OBJECTIVES: Diabetes rates in the British Columbia (BC) interior are rising more rapidly compared with the rest of Canada, whereas diabetes service provision is limited within this region. The purposes of this article were: 1) to identify characteristics of diabetes service delivery; and 2) to co-develop community‒university diabetes research projects to address service barriers and gaps in the BC southern interior across urban, rural and Indigenous populations. METHODS: A 3-step approach was used. In step 1, a web search was conducted to identify diabetes-related services. In step 2, 10 community members working or volunteering in diabetes organizations participated in semistructured telephone interviews pertaining to diabetes service access, priorities, barriers, benefits and gaps. In step 3, a meeting of researchers and community members (n=25) was held to foster collaboration and co-develop research projects. RESULTS: Seventy-eight urban, rural and Indigenous diabetes-related services were identified in the BC southern interior. Provision of care to those with new type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes diagnoses was identified in the interviews as a key priority; the needs of these groups contribute to a deficiency of resources to deliver prediabetes programs. The meeting produced plans for 2 collaborative projects: (1) the development of a diabetes patient journey map, and (2) development of a diabetes service hub with navigators for patients. CONCLUSIONS: Together, community members and researchers have identified service gaps and formulated research projects to improve diabetes management for urban, rural and Indigenous peoples living in the BC southern interior.
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