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Translating the Diabetes Prevention Program into an Online Social Network: Validation against CDC Standards

Date Published: April 10, 2014


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Prevent, an online social network-based translation of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle intervention, against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Prevention and Recognition Program (DPRP) outcome standards and weight loss outcomes of other DPP translations.

Methods: Two hundred twenty participants previously diagnosed with prediabetes were recruited online and enrolled in Prevent, a DPP-based group lifestyle intervention that integrates a private online social network, weekly lessons, health coaching, and a wireless scale and pedometer. Participants underwent a core 16-week intensive lifestyle change intervention and were then offered to continue with a post-core lifestyle change maintenance intervention, with the entire intervention (core plus post-core) totaling 12 months.

Results: One hundred eighty-seven participants met inclusion criteria for the core program and achieved an average of 5.0% and 4.8% weight loss at 16 weeks and 12 months, respectively. They also had a 0.37% reduction in their A1C level at final measurement. One hundred forty-four of these same participants also met inclusion criteria for the post-core program and achieved an average of 5.4% and 5.2% weight loss at 16 weeks and 12 months, respectively, and a 0.40% reduction in A1C at final measurement.

Conclusion: Results indicate that Prevent meets CDC DPRP outcome standards for diabetes prevention programs and performs favorably to other DPP translations. Considering national initiatives to address the obesity and diabetes epidemics, online delivery platforms like Prevent offer an effective and scalable solution.