Overcoming the tyranny of distance: An analysis of outreach visits to optimise secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in high-risk individuals living in Central Australia

Camilla S.L. Tuttle, Melinda J. Carrington, Simon Stewart, Alex Brown

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We examined the logistical challenges of conducting an outreach, secondary prevention program for adults discharged from Alice Springs Hospital following an acute presentation of cardiovascular disease. Design and Setting: This represents a sub-study of the Central Australian Heart Protection Study (CAHPS). Clinical, logistic and demographic data were used to examine the characteristics of outreach visits in the intervention arm of the study. Participants: Fifty subjects initially allocated to the intervention arm of the trial were studied. Main outcome measures: Completion of scheduled, plus additional outreach visits according to the intervention protocol. Results: The majority of subjects presented with an acute coronary syndrome (44/50 (88%)) and 31 (62%) were of Indigenous ethnicity. However, Indigenous subjects being younger (53.1±11.1 versus 58.0±11.0 years non-Indigenous) had a more complex risk factor and co-morbid profile, with significantly more diabetes (77% versus 26% P<0.001), hypertension (81% versus 53% P=0.04) and renal failure (52% versus 21% P=0.03). Community of origin of Indigenous subjects was 230±208km from the hospital versus 61±150km for non-Indigenous subjects (P=0.004). Indigenous subjects missed a significantly higher number of scheduled visits at six months (1.39±2.14 versus 0.16±0.50 visits; P=0.02). However, multivariate analyses suggested that distance did not influence successful completion of visits. Conclusions: These early findings from CAHPS are invaluable to understanding and improving the feasibility of secondary prevention programs for Indigenous adults living with heart disease in remote communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalThe Australian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Aboriginal health
  • Cardiovascular medicine
  • CVD research
  • Health service access
  • Remote health

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