Real-world effectiveness of digital and group-based lifestyle interventions as compared with usual care to reduce type 2 diabetes risk: A stop diabetes pragmatic randomised trial

Timo A. Lakka, Kirsikka Aittola, Elina Järvelä-Reijonen, Tanja Tilles-Tirkkonen, Reija Männikkö, Niina Lintu, Leila Karhunen, Marjukka Kolehmainen, Marja Harjumaa, Elina Mattila, Riia Järvenpää, Miikka Ermes, Santtu Mikkonen, Janne Martikainen, Kaisa Poutanen, Ursula Schwab, Pilvikki Absetz, Jaana Lindström, Jussi Pihlajamäki (Corresponding Author)

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Abstract

Background: No real-world randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have explored the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions based on multiple behaviour change theories and using combined digital and group-based face-to-face delivery to improve risk factors for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Methods: We conducted a one-year, multi-centre, unblinded, pragmatic RCT in primary healthcare using the habit formation, self-determination, and self-regulation theories among 2907 adults aged 18–74 years at increased T2D risk randomised into a digital lifestyle intervention group (DIGI, n = 967), a combined digital and group-based lifestyle intervention group (DIGI+GROUP, n = 971), and a control group receiving usual care (CONTROL, n = 969). We collected data on primary outcomes (diet quality by Healthy Diet Index [HDI], physical activity, body weight, fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour plasma glucose) and secondary outcomes (sedentary time, waist circumference, fasting plasma insulin) using digital questionnaires, clinical examinations, fasting blood tests, and 2-hour oral glucose tolerance tests. Main statistical analyses were performed using linear mixed-effects models adjusted for age, sex, and province. This RCT was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03156478. Findings: The 2907 participants assigned were recruited between March 1st, 2017, and February 28th, 2018. Diet quality improved more (3·2 vs. 1·4 HDI points, p<0·001 for difference between groups, p’<0·001 for group*time interaction) and waist circumference tended to decrease more (−1·8 vs. −1·3 cm, p = 0·028, p’ = 0·068) in DIGI+GROUP than in CONTROL. Fasting insulin tended to increase in CONTROL but not in DIGI (1·0 vs. 0·0 mU/L, p = 0·033, p’ = 0·054) or in DIGI+GROUP (1·0 vs. 0·5 mU/L, p = 0·042, p’ = 0·054). Good adherence to DIGI and DIGI+GROUP (≥median of 501 habits/year in DIGI, ≥5 of all 6 sessions in GROUP) was associated with improved diet quality and good adherence to DIGI with increased physical activity and decreased sedentary time. Interpretation: A lifestyle intervention based on multiple behaviour change theories and combined digital and group-based face-to-face delivery improves diet quality and tends to decrease abdominal adiposity and prevent an increase in insulin resistance. Good adherence improves the results of the interventions. Funding: Strategic Research Council at Academy of Finland, Academy of Finland, Novo Nordisk Foundation, and Finnish Diabetes Research foundation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100527
Number of pages13
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Volume24
Early online date12 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Adiposity
  • Behaviour change
  • Diet
  • Digital
  • eHealth
  • Habit formation
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Prevention
  • Primary healthcare
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Self-determination theory
  • Type 2 diabetes

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