Disease State Management
Each of the chronic diseases listed below, has a similar research trajectory:
- Develop strategies
- Design and present education
Research in asthma addresses the disease from many perspectives such as inhaler technique, education of patients, inhaler device design, and identifying inhibitory factors in the air tubes of people who do not have asthma.
Research at the Faculty has resulted in a new management model for people with asthma, which is effective in producing positive outcomes and health benefits for asthma sufferers. This DSM model includes a test of lung function, medication checks, asthma inhaler technique and trigger factors.
Research continues into the area of inhaler technique, into education and into the training needs of health care professionals, as well as patients and consumers. Other research currently underway involves using proteomics to identify the inhibitory factors for translation into new therapies to prevent inflammation and remodelling of air tubes. This includes an anti-inflammatory strategy to reverse the development of airway remodelling by increasing the ant-inflammatory protein MKP-1.
A pharmacy diabetes management model to help manage type 2 diabetic patients has been developed and is being implemented in pharmacies around Australia. Pharmacists are now able to offer a Diabetes Medication Assistance Service (DMAS) supporting patients in self-management, assisting in monitoring the disease, and educating diabetics. During the DMAS, pharmacists help ensure adherence to medicines.
Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Researchers at the Faculty are designing a pilot program to screen for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This will enable pharmacists to test lung function to identify ‘at risk’ patients, to follow these patients through to diagnosis, to support smoking cessation and to appropriately manage their disease. The result will be a more comprehensive disease state management model for COPD.
Researchers in Sleep Apnoea have developed an online sleep disorder risk predictor examining the impact of lifestyle issues by gathering information on body mass index, smoking habits and contra-indications from multiple medicine use. A future project will involve GPs in a large scale screening survey to explore the impact of QUM in insomnia. Sleep health is a relatively new research area and findings have been incorporated into the Faculty’s Bachelor of Pharmacy degree curriculum.
Managing cardiovascular disease requires ongoing adherence and presistence to prescribed therapy which applies equally to the management of symptomless risk factors such as hypertension and dyslipidaemia, as well as complications such as ischaemic heart disease and heart failure. Non-adherence can result in suboptimal clinical benefit, medical and psychological complications, reduced patient quality of life and wastage of health care resources. Working with the Heart Foundation, we are developing strategies to bolster adherence.