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Evaluating the impact of a digital lifestyle behaviour change intervention for the management of type 2 diabetes


Project Description

Aim: To evaluate the impact of an evidence-based intervention incorporating structured education and behaviour change tools supported by lifestyle behaviour coaches on the management of type 2 diabetes.

Methods and Innovations:
A mixed methods approach will be adopted to investigate the following issues:

i) Fidelity of delivery assessment to determine whether the behavioural support component of the intervention is delivered as planned by lifestyle behaviour coaches
ii) Analyses of routinely collected quantitative data to explore the use of the digital intervention to understand whether all components are utilised and whether specific usage patterns of exist.
iii) Analyses of behavioural, anthropometric and clinical data to understand the impact of the intervention on diabetes management; and sub-group analyses to understand the impact of the intervention based on specific patterns of intervention use.


In phases (i) and (ii), the analytical approach proposed was adopted by Sevick et al 2008: 29:396-409 who evaluated the impact of a lifestyle intervention. For example, we will measure rates for understanding the usefulness of the digital intervention, ease in entering data, ease in interpreting feedback outputs from the system and preference for continuing with the intervention.

In phase (iii), we will follow a framework of evaluation for digital health interventions (Murray et al., 2016;51:843–851). For analysis of quantitative data, associations between intervention use, behavioural outcomes, weight status and clinical data will be explored using a multivariable (predictors) and multivariate (outcomes) statistical model.

The analyses approaches proposed are innovative in that they aim to identify which combination of behavioural intervention components have the maximal impact on diabetes management. This knowledge is important to inform clinical care delivery, future training of healthcare professionals, and further iterations of the digital intervention to be evaluated as well as the development of other interventions for long-term health conditions.

Application Web Page

Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/how-to-apply/. Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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