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A qualitative process evaluation of a diabetes remission programme using very low energy diets.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lucia Rehackova, Professor Vera Araujo-SoaresORCiD, Dr Sarah Steven, Professor Roy Taylor, Professor Falko Sniehotta


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Aim: Very low energy diets (VLEDs) are efficacious weight loss interventions for obese adults with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and have been shown to assist remission of T2DM. However, acceptability and perspectives on VLEDs by people with T2DM have not yet been thoroughly researched. The primary objectives of this study were to explore experiences and support needs of people with T2DM undertaking an 8-week long, 600 kcal/day VLED treatment as part of a diabetes remission programme, and to provide a qualitative process evaluation of the programme. Design: A longitudinal qualitative study with semi-structured, audio-recorded interviews at baseline and at the end of the VLED intervention. Methods. Participants were identified by advertisements in local press, by displaying posters and leaflets in retinal screening clinics, in a hospital, and in local council leisure facilities. Fifteen participants took part in each of the interviews. The interview topic guides covered motivation, expectations, goals, facilitators and barriers to adherence, behavioural strategies to overcome temptations, support needs, psychological and physiological wellbeing, outcome satisfaction, and programme evaluation. Principles of framework and thematic analyses were followed during data analysis. Results. The participants perceived following the VLED as easier than they had expected. Rapid and substantial weight loss, improvements in blood glucose, increased physical and psychological well-being and social support were the main motivators to adherence. Participants` reported social activities were minimally affected. Five behaviour regulation strategies have been identified: 1) Removing food from the environment; 2) Avoidance; 3) Distraction; 4) Social disclosure; and 5) Planning. The programme was well appraised. Some participants felt they would have benefitted from participants-only group meetings. Conclusion: VLEDs are acceptable among motivated individuals under intense clinical supervision. The intervention is now being extended to the real world setting in Primary Care and observations in this context are now required.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rehackova LR, Araujo-Soares V, Adamson AA, Steven S, Taylor R, Sniehotta FF

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: "Celebrating the Past, Looking Toward the Future": 50th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society

Year of Conference: 2015

Publisher: Australian Psychological Society Limited