Depression and diabetes in the remote Torres Strait Islands

Taylor, Sean, McDermott, Robyn, Thompson, Fintan, and Usher, Kim (2017) Depression and diabetes in the remote Torres Strait Islands. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 28. pp. 59-66.

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Issue addressed: Diabetes is associated with significant depression, which can result in poorer clinical outcomes, including increased mortality. Little is known about the prevalence of depression among Torres Strait Islander adults with diabetes.

Methods: Self-reported depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 translated into Torres Strait Creole, and associations with socioeconomic, behavioural and clinical indicators in Torres Strait Islander adults with diabetes in five remote Torres Strait Islands were examined.

Results: Seventy-three men and 115 women completed interviews. The median PHQ-9 score was 5.5 (IQR 0–7); 42% of respondents scored 0–4 (none–minimal), 46% scored 5–9 (mild) and 12% scored 10+ (moderate–severe). Mean HbA1c was 8.3% (67.4 mmol). HbA1c was not related to PHQ-9 scores (β = 0.20, P = 0.323), however exercise in hours (β = –0.34, P < 0.001) and screen time in hours (β = 0.11, P < 0.001) were significant predictors of depression after adjusting for other study variables.

Conclusions: This sample of remote living Torres Strait Islanders reported relatively low rates of depression compared with national samples, and depression was not related to glycaemic control. Exercise and screen time were the strongest predictors of depression based on PHQ-9 scores. This represents an opportunity for health promotion.

So what?: These findings provide an indication of the health impact of physical activity in rural and remote communities. Local health and education services, councils and sporting bodies should work collaboratively to promote sustainable physical activity programs.

Item ID: 44914
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2201-1617
Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, health behaviours, type 2 diabetes
Funders: Commonwealth of Australia (CA), Department of Health (DH), Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS), National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHF)
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2016 04:56
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450417 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public health and wellbeing @ 34%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion @ 33%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 33%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920104 Diabetes @ 34%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 33%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 33%
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