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Community Exercise and education for management of diabetes

Community Exercise and education for long-term management of diabetes and multi-morbidity - University of Otago, School of Physiotherapy Research team:

Prof Leigh Hale (Principal Investigator, Research Physiotherapist, Dean of School of Physiotherapy)
Prof Jim Mann Consultant physician/endocrinologist)
Prof Tim Stokes (Research General Practitioner)
Dr Ram Mani (Research Physiotherapist)
Dr Prasath Jayakaran (Health Researcher with a physiotherapy background).
Dr Fiona Doolan-Noble (Research Nurse)
Dr Trudy Sullivan (Health Economist)
Andrew Gray (Biostatistician)
Chris Higgs (Clinical Physiotherapist)

The School of Physiotherapy have been running a Community Exercise Programme for people with type II diabetes for many years now. We are excited to announce that we have recently secured a substantial Health Research Council grant to formally investigate the effectiveness (including cost-effectiveness) of our Diabetes Community Exercise and education Programme (DCEP) in a randomised control trial (RCT) that will run in both Dunedin and Invercargill over two years.

We have now begun recruiting for participants with type 2 diabetes to take part in the research. Those who are interested in taking part can be referred by their GP, or contact our administrator on dcep.physio@otago.ac.nz or 03 479 4979, and she will then ask the volunteer for consent to contact the participant’s GP.

All participants take part in an assessment (for which they will receive a supermarket voucher to compensate their time) that involves questionnaires about their health and wellbeing, as well as some physical tests, before being randomised into the DCEP programme or DESMOND. DESMOND is a well-established one-day self-care workshop for people with type 2 diabetes and is run by WellSouth. Participants who are randomised into the DCEP group will attend twice-weekly community exercise classes that are followed by an education session (90 minutes in total). The exercise class is tailored to meet the participant’s specific health needs, and are safe, fun and friendly – no lycra or mirrors!

All participants in both the DCEP and DESMOND groups, are assessed three more times over the duration of the study, and at each time will receive a $20 supermarket voucher in compensation.

We are especially excited that we will be developing an implementation package from this research for any community in New Zealand (NZ) to enable the roll out DCEP in their community and make it truly accessible and helpful for those with health issues. Type 2 diabetes is an increasing problem in NZ, with almost 7% of adult New Zealanders, or approximately 200,000 people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. We are truly appreciative to those who will take part in the study, as it paves the way for a greater understanding of what kinds of interventions work best for managing diabetes.


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