Exploring the Cost Effectiveness of the Parkinson’s Nurse Position in the MNCLHD

The aim of the project was to explore the cost effectiveness of the Parkinson’s nurse in the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD).

A structured retrospective analysis was undertaken where the length of stay (LOS) outcomes for patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) were compared pre (2013-2014), and post (2016-2017) the employment of the Parkinson’s nurse in the MNCLHD.

A stratified sample was drawn from the target population for each two-year period of people with a diagnosis of PD, as identified in hospital medical records. Costs related to LOS were analysed using a multiple regression approach and cost-benefit analysis.

Statistical findings demonstrated a significant reduction in LOS from 0.37 day ($1,924) to 0.755 day ($3,926) post the establishment of the Parkinson’s nurse position.

These findings support advocacy for sustainable Parkinson’s nurse positions across rural/regional Australia and can be used to inform and influence policy and systemic changes within the health care system.

Award Recipient: PICNIC Project: Parents sharing infant feeding messages

The aim of the project was to explore parents’ perceptions of participating in a peer-supported infant nutrition program and to measure the reach of the program.

New parents of infants (age 0-2) were trained as peer educators in infant-child feeding to on-share information with other parents, supported by social-media and online resources over 12 months.

Participants engaged as co-researchers generated data through group interviews, correspondence and online contributions. Online reach was assessed using Facebook insights and Google analytics.

Content analysis generated three main themes:

  • Food experiences
  • Experiences being a peer-educator
  • Input into PICNIC implementation.

The project’s Facebook page currently has 1,165 followers, weekly post-reach of 889 and website has had 17,000-page views and 3,620 visitors over 12 months.

The findings illuminate the participant journey, contribution to project model modification and highlight the reach of peer education with online support. PICNIC provides key-learnings of an innovative service delivery model, influencing health literacy and long-term outcomes.

The Dunghutti Muri Project Optimising access to the Mid North Coast Brain Injury Service for local Aboriginal people

The Dunghutti Muri Project arose from a perceived lack in engagement in local Aboriginal people with the Mid North Coast Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service (MNCBIRS). The project evolved into a process aiming to optimise access to MNCBIRS for Aboriginal people through a range of culturally-appropriate strategies.

Research activities included a clinical file audit and interviews with clients or family members to discuss their health experience following the brain injury. Principal outcomes included:

  • Development of an iterative process based on a Theory of Access which generated a series of culturally-appropriate strategies optimising MNCBIRS access
  • Establishment of a collegial collaborative approach guided by local Aboriginal people to alter practice
  • Enhancement of MNCBIRS into a culturally-safe and responsive service that encourages engagement by Aboriginal people
  • Creation of a genuinely effective partnership between Brain Injury staff and clients – a partnership that is vital for effective rehabilitation.