What's Next?

Fatema M. Ali, Ghazal S. Fazli, Lorraine L. Lipscombe


Future Directions

Peel’s population is heterogeneous and ethnically and culturally very diverse. This offers a unique opportunity for future research and policy interventions to collaborate with community partners across different sectors and agencies and engage with patients and community members in all stages of the research and policymaking process to understand how we can intervene early and identify sustainable, effective, and equitable solutions for diabetes prevention and management that will impact the quality of life of those living in Peel and beyond.

These efforts require a deeper understanding of the needs of local residents and their perceptions of their neighbourhood environment to identify interventions that will meaningfully promote healthy living. This step is vital to understand the meanings and implications of these findings for the community and to co-create knowledge to determine ‘research needs and scope,’ ‘what intervention and prevention strategies are necessary’, ‘what works for whom,’ and ‘under what local contexts’.

Such engagements with relevant decision-makers across different sectors and agencies and representations are integral for current and future diabetes research and policy efforts to collectively identify multi-faceted approaches to addressing the projected risk of diabetes in the Peel Region. Moreover, future policy interventions must consider the interconnected nature of the many socioeconomic disadvantages that drive diabetes risk and identify prevention strategies that target the macro, meso, and micro-level determinants of diabetes explored in this report. The benefits of introducing effective approaches to prevention will extend beyond diabetes to reduce risk of other obesity-related conditions such as hypertension, some cancers, gallbladder disease and osteoarthritis.

Next Steps

NHP aims to continue to understand the burden of diabetes and chronic disease in the Peel Region through a series of key next steps. We aim to further build and develop the preliminary work showcased in this report and ensure that the findings are shared with the community and applied in our upcoming NHP Catalyst grant.

Baseline Data Strategy Phase 2: The research streams of this report each focus on a specific level of diabetes and chronic disease burden – from the health care system to communities to living environments. Efforts within each stream overlap and interconnect to address the overall goal of reducing the risk and burden of diabetes and related conditions for healthier populations in Peel Region and beyond.

As the aim of this report was to describe the problem, the next phase will be to identify causes and factors that are contributing to the problem and to map areas of greatest need. Phase 2 of the Baseline Data Strategy, beginning in 2023, will leverage the team’s foundational report to support the development of further co-designed research projects. The Network will support additional analyses to identify priorities and unmet needs for the prevention and care of diabetes and other chronic diseases within the region, build on existing or planned initiatives, and leverage resources. Interventions may include community programs, education and outreach initiatives, urban re-design, or new policies. Furthermore, the Network is dedicated to training and preparing the next generation of health leaders to address the rising risk and burden of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Therefore, a key aspect of phase 2 of the Baseline Data Strategy is to build capacity for this research by including undergraduate, medical/health professional students and graduate students in participating and leading key projects. 

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