SLIMMER: A smart way to prevent diabetes

The number of people with type 2 diabetes is sharply rising, causing global concern. However, clinical trials have shown conclusively that diabetes can be postponed or prevented among adults with pre-diabetes by a combination of a healthy diet and increased physical activity. One of these is the Dutch SLIM intervention. Although such trials are highly promising, they are not easily applicable in real-life practice. Therefore, the aim of our project is to adapt the SLIM intervention into a SLIMMER intervention (SLIM iMplementation Experience Region gelre-ijssel) which suits the Dutch real-life setting, in intensive collaboration with relevant local parties.

In a first step the proven-effective SLIM study is translated to a programme which could be implemented in practice. It was identified which elements from the SLIM study could be used in practice without any changes and which elements had to be adjusted to fit into practice. This resulted in an implementation manual for each professional collaborating in SLIMMER.

Second, the adapted SLIMMER study was pilot-tested to determine its feasibility and likelihood of achieving desired impact.  Implementation of the SLIMMER intervention appeared to be feasible in a Dutch real-life setting and it appeared likely to achieve desired impact. Practising and optimising the intervention creates local support for SLIMMER among stakeholders.

For the effectiveness study, 25 general practitioners, 16 physiotherapists, 11 dieticians and several sports clubs were involved in this project. Together, they guide over 150 participants. The initial results show that participants have lost weight, have a slimmer waistline and have a reduced amount of fat on their hips. Participants are more fit and had an improved glucose tolerance. Remarkably, over 50% of the participants report to be physically more capable to participate actively in society. Professionals and participants evaluate SLIMMER positively, on average with an 8. The final results are expected by the end of 2015.


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