Aboriginal participation in the DOVE study.

Canadian journal of public health. Revue canadienne de sante publique

PubMedID: 16967751

Ralph-Campbell K, Pohar SL, Guirguis LM, Toth EL. Aboriginal participation in the DOVE study. Can J Public Health. 2006;97(4):305-9.
Aboriginals constitute a substantial portion of the population of Northern Alberta. Determinants such as poverty and education can compound health-care accessibility barriers experienced by Aboriginals compared to non-Aboriginals. A diabetes care enhancement study involved the collection of baseline and follow-up data on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal patients with known type 2 diabetes in two rural communities in Northern Alberta. Analyses were conducted to determine any demographic or clinical differences existing between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals.

394 diabetes patients were recruited from the Peace and Keeweetinok Lakes health regions. 354 self-reported whether or not they were Aboriginal; a total of 94 self-reported being Aboriginal. Baseline and follow-up data were collected through interviews, standardized physical assessments, laboratory testing and self-reporting questionnaires (RAND-12 and HUI3).

Aboriginals were younger, with longer duration of diabetes, more likely to be female, and less likely to have completed high school. At baseline, self-reported health status was uniformly worse, but the differences disappeared with adjustments for sociodemographic confounders, except for perceived mental health status. Aboriginals considered their mental health status to be worse than non-Aboriginals at baseline. Some aspects of health utilization were also different.

While demographics were different and some utilization differences existed, overall this analysis demonstrates that "Aboriginality" does not contribute to diabetes outcomes when adjusted for appropriate variables.