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Variations in benefits of behavioural programmes in T2D

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis to identify which factors improved the effectiveness of behavioural programmes for adults with type 2 diabetes. Although these programmes may improve outcomes for some individuals, there is a large diversity of behavioural interventions and uncertainty about their effectiveness. The researchers found that diabetes self-management education offering 10 or fewer hours of contact provided little benefit. It was also concluded that these programmes seem to benefit persons with suboptimal or poor glycaemic control more than those with good control.

By Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore

In this study, behavioural programmes were grouped on the basis of programme content and delivery methods. A network meta-analysis showed that most lifestyle and diabetes self-management education and support programmes that offered at least 11 contact hours led to clinically important improvements in glycaemic control. In contrast, most diabetes self-management education programmes without added support, especially those offering 10 or fewer contact hours, provided little benefit.

Programmes with higher effect sizes tended to be those delivered in person than via technology. Lifestyle-based programmes led to the greatest reductions in BMI. Reductions in HbA1c seemed to be greater for participants with a baseline HbA1c level of 53 mmol/mol (7.0%) or greater, adults younger than 65 years, and people from minority ethnic groups.

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