Process evaluation of a pilot evidence-based Polycystic Ovary Syndrome clinic in the Torres Strait

Jacqueline Boyle, Grace Hollands, Sarah Beck, Gaynor Hampel, Hylda Wapau, Marissa Arnot, Louise Browne, Helena J. Teede, Lisa J. Moran

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic endocrine syndrome in reproductive-aged women which is very common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. The objective of this study was to conduct a process evaluation of a pilot clinic on Thursday Island which aimed to provide a comprehensive evidence-based service for women with PCOS throughout the Torres Strait. Design: Mixed-method evaluation at 12 months comprising a medical record audit, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Setting: Primary care. Participants: Audit of n = 11 clinics (n = 36 women), qualitative semi-structured interviews with n = 8 clinicians and focus group discussions with n = 8 women. Main outcome measures: (i) Fidelity to evidence-based guidelines, (ii) barriers and enablers to women using the service, (iii) the ability to meet the needs of women and the community. Results: The clinic was largely successful in providing evidence-based care with up to 78 of women receiving recommended cardiometabolic screening, 100 emotional screening and 89 lifestyle management despite the remoteness of the clinic and limited financial and human resources. Health care providers report sustainability of the clinic will be dependent on factors including staffing, administrative support and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. Conclusion: While the clinic has been largely successful there are areas identified for potential improvement and to facilitate sustainability which should be considered before up-scaling this model to a national level. These include systems, administrative and staffing support, engaging with other community services to facilitate lifestyle changes and ongoing engagement and upskilling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care providers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Indigenous health
  • lifestyle management
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • rural health
  • screening

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