Diabetes Prevention and my Involvement with this Innovative Project

The Diabetes Prevention Decathlon initially ran as a face-to-face pilot in January 2020. It was created through collaboration between different organisations as highlighted below:

Background

The Diabetes Prevention Decathlon is a guided 10 week programme, consisting of 1 hour group based interactive education delivered by a specialist dietitian (me!) and then 1 hour of physical activity delivered by a specialist sports facilitator from Harlequins Foundation, the charitable and community arm of the premiership rugby union club.  Sessions included a range of activities and sports such as stretching, resistance bands, badminton, basketball, yoga etc.

Sweatcoin provided tailored access to their app which included leader boards and incentives for achieving steps. Weekly quiz questions and videos were also provided through the app which helped reiterate key messages from the theory session that week.

Unfortunately due to COVID19, the remaining 3 face-to-face sessions of the pilot were cancelled. However the team worked hard to adapt the content to a virtual format and we managed to complete the course via video conference.

Where are we now?

A new cohort is currently running in a purely virtual format. It has been carefully designed through a consultation process with the help of focus groups so it is suited to individuals from different communities and cultures. It includes reference to foods commonly eaten in South Asian and African-Caribbean diets.

My feedback as a deliverer of the programme

It is great to be teaching again although difficult not being able to meet the participants face-to-face. The use of IT was a new concept to the group but it is amazing how quickly people can learn, it may not always be perfect but I think that can be what makes it. I look forward to receiving more feedback and seeing how this programme can be further improved and adapted in future. It is great to be able to offer people more choice when it comes to lifestyle interventions. This programme is another tool to educate and support individuals to feel empowered and make meaningful changes to reduce their risk of diabetes and other long-term conditions. The use of technology, the incorporation of exercise and the tailoring to different communities makes it particularly special.

“It has been an excellent programme and very enjoyable, glad to meet other people too!”

Feedback from a programme participant

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