Researchers at Griffith University have developed a strategy to increase diabetes awareness and management for women.

Women’s Wellness with Type 2 Diabetes is a 12-week, e-health enabled program for women in Queensland, including those living in rural or remote areas.

“The program is flexible, portable, accessible online and includes consultations with a registered nurse via Skype or Facetime,” says lead researcher Professor Debra Anderson from the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Diabetes is in the top four chronic conditions threatening the health of all Australians, but people in rural or remote areas are at higher risk. Mortality rates for diabetes are also two to four times higher in these areas than in major cities.

Professor Anderson is collaborating with Professor Jackie Sturt from King’s College, London to trial the Griffith program for rural women in the UK.

“We know that people living in rural areas have more risk factors including alcohol use, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, smoking and obesity,” Professor Anderson explains.

“They are also less likely to have access to updated information and more likely miss seeing a health professional because of distance and cost in both time and money.”

The program is also being adapted for Indigenous women, with the help of PhD student Melissa Walker and a grant from the auDA Foundation to develop the Pasifika Diabetes Wellness e-learning Program for Australian Pacific Island Peoples.